Taking advantage of opportunities, Jack McBean makes case for starting role

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- The LA Galaxy did what few have been able to lately -- win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The visiting Galaxy did not succumb to the altitude or the pressure of the Colorado Rapids in securing a 3-1 win on Wednesday, scoring three goals on the road, two of which came from Homegrown Player Jack McBean.

“He had some opportunity early on,” explained Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo. “He hasn’t had a ton of opportunity but he scored last week in the [U.S.] Open Cup which gave him confidence.

"Just waiting again for his opportunity and to his credit he makes the most of it. Now he pushes himself on me as the coach and that’s what we want.”

Starting up top for the Galaxy, McBean scored in both halves with his first MLS tallies since 2013. LA have had trouble finding goals from their front line in 2017, but now may have found an answer up top to take pressure of the midfield going forward.

“A lot of it’s mental,” McBean said.  “It’s tough when you play 5-10 minutes at the end of games and sometimes you don’t play.  You can go weeks without getting 90 minutes. When my number’s called I have to do my job.”

Second-half pressure from the Galaxy kept Colorado pinned in their defensive third much of the second half, allowing McBean to use his size and strength to hold position inside the box.

“He can hold the ball, he knows how to play, and he can finish,” explained Onalfo. “It’s just a matter of him finding that rhythm and confidence and that’s what we saw tonight.”

Since his most productive MLS year in 2013, McBean has gotten most of his competitive minutes with LA Galaxy II. Now in his seventh year with an MLS contract after signing a Homegrown contract as a 16-year-old, opportunities are opening up for him to prove himself on the senior squad. 

“Last season, I had a good season with Galaxy II, scored some goals, came back and started the first couple games of the season,” said the youngster. “I didn’t score, so confidence went down a little bit. You’ve got to just trust your abilities and that’s what happened on the first goal.”

McBean admits to eyeing the penalty kick awarded to LA in the 70th minute, subsequently put home by Romain Alessandrini, but just laughed at the thought of what could have been.

“It’s alright. If the team wins that’s the most important thing,” said McBean. “A hat trick would’ve been nice but I’m not going to complain about that. I know what I can do. It’s a process and it’s something I’ve been working hard on and it feels good getting rewarded.”