Bradford Jamieson IV, first MLS start
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LA Galaxy's Bradford Jamieson IV juggling pro soccer career in MLS and pursuit of a college degree

CARSON, Calif. -- Bradford Jamieson IV surrendered a scholarship to the University of California to turn pro 18 months ago with the LA Galaxy, but he certainly hasn't given up on getting an education.

The 18-year-old attacker began work this week toward a college degree, starting a class on mass media at Santa Monica College, a two-year school. He's taking only one class this semester, a general-education course that will transfer to every four-year university in California, with plans to go after more credits in the next few years.

“College life, man ...,” Jamieson said. “This is just the beginning.”

Jamieson, who graduated high school nearly two years ago, has set no concrete plans on when and where he'll get his education -- only that he will, eventually, have his degree.

“I have a [checklist] as far as graduating -- definitely, that's going to happen,” he said. “But [there is no] timeline. You don't really know what's going to happen a year from now or two years from now. It's easier to do it day by day.

“Right now I'm doing college in person, so I might have to switch over to online, and there's just a lot of stuff you're juggling.”

Foremost among them is a nascent professional career. Jamieson has played in seven MLS matches this season, with six starts and a goal, and is considered among the brightest young prospects in the Galaxy organization. He's also played seven times with three goals for Galaxy II, the club's USL-based reserve side, but he is sidelined after suffering his second concussion of the season during a match in late July.

“I've been killing it, busting my butt every day, been in the gym every day,” he reported. “I can feel myself getting stronger, looking stronger, [but] it's kind of hard to do the timeline [on when I'll be cleared to play]. A lot of it is day by day, because something like a concussion -- successive concussions -- [there] is still a systematic timeline you have to go by. I'm doing a lot of physical work and mental preparation for when I'm going to be back on the field.”

His Media 1 course at Santa Monica, “Survey of Mass Media Communications,” is the second college class he's attempted. He took a general-education “Introduction to Hip Hop” class a year ago at Cal State Dominguez Hills, but dropped it when he found it wasn't as interesting as he'd anticipated.

A few students at Dominguez Hills, which is home to StubHub Center, recognized Jamieson as a Galaxy player, but nobody seemed to notice Wednesday night at Santa Monica.

“I don't really think they're going to know who I am,” he said. “I'm just another kid. If there is [anybody who recognizes me], that's all right. I have to tell the teacher, though, because there might be something I miss, when I can't come to class. If we have a midweek game, I can't show up.

“A lot of stuff to be juggling in the situation that I'm in.”

Education is important to the Jamieson family, and he had committed to Cal, a prestigious university with a strong men's soccer program, before signing as a Homegrown Player with the Galaxy in February 2014. His parents and oldest brother have college degrees, and older brother Myles is pursuing his education at Santa Monica College.

Jamieson, who said he'd like to major in fashion, always has been a good student, but admits that he could have done better at Santa Monica High School.

“I was fairly distracted with soccer,” he said. “Could have been better. ... I wasn't slacking, but I could have had straight A's. I had an addiction. I think it was sophomore year in high school, I found out about the online sites for watching [soccer games]. From there until, like, senior year, I was bad.”

Jamieson's mother, Danica, served as his first agent, and she signed off on his decision to turn pro rather than attend Cal.

“Once I made the decision that I wanted to go pro, which was pretty quick because that's what I've wanted to do my whole life, my mom backed me 100 percent,” Jamieson said. “School is always going to be there, and I think when you have a chance to accomplish something that you've dreamt about for over 17 years, you have to do that first.”

Scott French covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com.