Friday, March 4, 2011
No goals in Jack McBean's Galaxy debut
By Scott French
Jack McBean played in a game for the Galaxy's first team for the first time Friday. He didn't score a goal, but it wasn't for lack of trying -- his or his teammates.
The 16-year-old phenom from Newport Beach, who trained with L.A. for the first time Thursday, had several decent chances in a 25-minute stint at the end of the Galaxy's 4-0 rout of Canada's under-23 team on one of the club's training fields southeast of Home Depot Center's main stadium.
With teammates yelling their encouragement and fellow forward Adam Cristman looking to find him in front of the net, McBean offered some fine moments -- and, at times, looked like a teenager.
"It was cool," said McBean, a Corona del Mar High School sophomore who signed a "Home Grown Player" contract with L.A. in January. "All the guys were really supportive. It's really cool to know the guys want me to score.
"Adam was trying to set me up twice, and then he finally took one for himself and put it in the side net, so got to learn from that. It was a lot of fun."
Cristman's 85th-minute goal, his third strike of the preseason, completed the romp. Bryan Jordan had assists on goals by Miguel Lopez in the 15th minute and Mike Magee in the 38th, and Jovan Kirovski scored in the 52nd. Magee's goal also was his third; Chris Birchall has three, too.
McBean might have had three goal opportunities, and he was rued one miss, slipping the ball just past the left post in the 76th minute. Cristman tried to play him into space in the 70th minutes -- McBean failed to make the run -- and fed him two minutes later for a shot that was blocked. McBean took a touch before shooting; had he hit it first time, he might have had his first goal.
"He's good," said Cristman, a fifth-year forward acquired Jan. 11 from D.C. United. "He's a big kid. Moves well. He's fast. He did well holding the ball up a few times and getting in the box and getting in good spots. I tried to set him up twice, but it got caught out."
McBean, who returned Tuesday from the U.S. under-17 national team's triumph at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Jamaica, said his new teammates have been offering plenty of advice.
"They've been really cool," he said. "They've told me so much already. I'm having an open mind and trying to gather everything in. Just telling me, like in this game -- I was running around like I'd never played before, but they're just telling me to, like, when you pressure [the opposing backline], pick your times to pressure, and 'you'll get it as time goes on.' So it's been really cool."
"I think he did well," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "I think he's just starting to make the transition. He came to San Diego on Wednesday and watched us play [against Club Tijuana] and trained a little bit yesterday, and, obviously, today's his first real chance to play with the group in a game. ...
"Young kid. We're going to be patient and work with him. Move him forward, hopefully."
RESERVE LINEUP: The Galaxy used players who saw limited or no action in Wednesday's draw against Tijuana, with the nine who saw significant time -- Birchall, Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Juninho and Donovan Ricketts -- training on an adjacent field.
Left back Todd Dunivant went the distance in central defense, teaming with A.J. DeLaGarza in the first half. Rookie left back Ryan Thomas and midfielders Kirovski and Michael Stephens also played the full 90.
A TRIALIST: Former UCLA defender Sean Alvarado is in camp with the Galaxy -- their first trialist this preseason -- and he partnered with Dunivant in the middle in the second half. Might he be the prospect in the back that Yohance Marshall couldn't be?
"I've seen him play a bunch of times, because my son [Kenny is on Jorge Salcedo's staff at UCLA], so I've been aware of him," Arena said. "We've been looking for a young center back. ... We're looking at him, he's on trial here, and we'll make a decision on him in the next couple of weeks."
Alvarado, 23, trained last year with Chivas USA -- he's also been in camp with Tottenham in England, according to his website.
WORTH NOTING: McBean says he will be doing his schoolwork through Monte Vista High School in Costa Mesa, working through projects in which he must "pick up a packet of work, and you have, like, two weeks to complete it." ... Canada's roster included defender Curtis Ushedo, whom Chivas selected in January's supplemental draft. He was released from the Goats' camp in mid-February.
GALAXY LINEUP: Josh Saunders (Brian Perk, 66); Frankie Hejduk (Dustin McCarty, 66), A.J. DeLaGarza (Sean Alvarado, 46), Todd Dunivant, Ryan Thomas; Bryan Jordan (Hector Jimenez, 46), Jovan Kirovski, Michael Stephens, Mike Magee (Paolo Cardozo, 66); Miguel Lopez (Jack McBean, 66), Chad Barrett (Adam Cristman, 46).
GALAXY 2011 PRESEASON (5-1-3)
Feb. 4 vs. Loyola Marymount at HDC: W 7-1 (goals by Birchall 2, Angel, Berhalter, Juninho, Kirovski, Cardozo)
Feb. 8 vs. Portland Timbers at HDC: T 1-1 (Cardozo)
Feb. 10 vs. San Jose Earthquakes at HDC: T 1-1 (Magee)
Feb. 16: vs. Colorado Rapids at Tempe, Ariz.: L 2-4 (Donovan, Cristman)
Feb. 18: vs. U.S. U-18s at Tempe, Ariz. (50 mins.): W 1-0 (Magee)
Feb. 21: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps at Tempe, Ariz.: W 2-0 (Birchall, Angel)
Feb. 22: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps at Tempe, Ariz.: W 2-0 (Cristman, Barrett)
March 2: vs. Club Tijuana at San Diego: T 2-2 (Gonzalez, Donovan), Tijuana wins on penalties, 4-3
March 4: vs. Canada U-23 at HDC: W 4-0 (Lopez, Magee, Kirovski, Cristman)
March 9: vs. UCLA at HDC