Chat with Chris Birchall
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, L.A. Galaxy midfielder Chris Birchall stops by to chat about ESPN's MLS Game of the Week between Los Angeles and Chicago.
Birchall is in his first season with the Galaxy joining the team midway through the season. His first game-action came when the explosive midfielder entered in as a late-game replacement for David Beckham.
Before making the trip across the pond, the England native played for various teams in Europe and has represented Trinidad and Tobago in international play.
Send your questions now and join Birchall Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET!
Tune in October 2 at 11 p.m. ET on ESPN2 as the Galaxy take on the Fire.
Chris Birchall (3:29 PM)
I'm ready for your questions!
Lulamae (New York)
As a new player to MLS, what do you think of the quality of play compared to that in England?
Chris Birchall (3:30 PM)
Especially in the last couple of years the MLS has received a lot of publicity with David Beckham being in the league but I have been really impressed. There is a lot of talent on the Galaxy and in the league as a whole. I've been happily impressed.
You play Chicago on Friday and with both teams vying for a playoff spot, what do you think the Galaxy needs to do to win?
Chris Birchall (3:31 PM)
I think it's going to be a vital game. We are both battling and the winner will have the advantage going into the last two games. After out disappointing defeat to Columbus we should be on our game. We especially need to do this playing at home.
Haley (Huntington Beach)
How did it feel to have to fill Beckham's shoes?
Chris Birchall (3:32 PM)
(Laughing) I don't think of it that way. It's a case of him being injured which was the only reason he wasn't playing. I don't see it as filling his boots. He always improves a team when he is on the team.
What's the biggest adjustment you've had to make in transitioning to MLS?
Chris Birchall (3:33 PM)
Really it has just be settling in off the field. At first it is hard with the hotel and all the training. Relocating is tough. Even just the weather is an adjustment. It's cooler in England. On the field it has been great.
What is the best part of living in LA?
Chris Birchall (3:33 PM)
Everything. Especially playing for the Galaxy. Being based in L.A. .. there is so much to do. You have to keep your mind on futbol. It's am amazing place to be.
Gabe (Pasadena, CA)
Chris, big fan here. You've been very solid for us this season. Do you see yourself playing for the Galaxy for a long period of time?
Chris Birchall (3:34 PM)
Yeah, definitely. I think I've said it before that I wouldn't have come here for anyone else but the Galaxy. I signed a lengthy contract and I intend to see it out if they want me. I hope that is the case. I want to extend it even after that. I hope to be here for a number of years.
Do you ever think the MLS will ever be able to take players away from the top clubs like a Messi, Henry, Rooney in there prime
Chris Birchall (3:36 PM)
I think it probably depends on how the league is run. That's up to the MLS if things change. Probably the big players it's more inviting ... but getting players from England where it is not a guaranteed contract could be tougher. We'll have to see if that changes in the future. But the big name players who have guaranteed contracts it could be more likely.
The Fire feature a stout midfield and Jon Busch, one of the better goalkeepers in MLS. How do you plan to beat this team offensively?
Chris Birchall (3:37 PM)
Bruce will go through all of their tactical plans which we estimate they will come at us with. It's another home game and we want to go out and attack and make our home ground a fortress. As you said, they have a good midfield and a good goalkeeper and we beat them away last time so we hope to do the same now.
How important is Friday night's game against the Fire?
Chris Birchall (3:38 PM)
I think it's a really big game. If we can get 3 points then we have one foot there. It would still be tough in the last two games, but this game is really big for us. Whoever wins has the advantage going into the playoffs. I think we'll be going in knowing we can get the 3 points after beating them on their home turf. But that just means they want revenge.
Anthony Johnson (Telford, England)
How does it feel going from Randlay Colts playing with me, to playing for the Galaxy with David Beckham? And my right foot is better than his, no?
Chris Birchall (3:40 PM)
I was very young, then! It was a Sunday League team. One of the most enjoyable times of my life. No real pressure. It's hard to imagine the way my career has gone. I love being here in L.A. If you had asked me a year ago, I wouldn't have thought I would be here. And not just because of Beckham but of all the great players we have here.
For you what does it mean missing out on South Africa, especially after you made the previous WC?
Chris Birchall (3:41 PM)
It's very disappointing. It was always going to be tough in that group but we felt before the final stage we had a good team and maybe even a better team than last time on paper. But we had two different coaches and that shook us up a bit. We just couldn't really get our form. We put pressure on ourselves and didn't get the results away. It was very disappointing. We wanted to carry on the success. But hopefully I have another one of two campaigns in me.
Who is more fun to be out with Alan Gordon or Omar Gonzalez?
Chris Birchall (3:42 PM)
Only been out with Omar once. Alan is a character. Just a really fun guy. So probably Alan!
Chris Birchall (3:43 PM)
Thanks for the questions! I really appreciate you writing in and I hope you keep up the great support. We'll do our best for you out on the pitch.