By Sandy Beeson: Twitter – @Sandy_Beeson
Through a remarkable weekend of MLS action there were many performances to be lauded, with four different teams scoring four goals apiece, and several big results across the league. One performance that stood out was that of Bradford Jamieson IV – an 18-year-old attacker who is providing further proof that LA Galaxy‘s recent successes have been in some way down to a successful youth policy.
It took the homegrown signing just nine minutes to make his big impact on the game. Collecting the ball well outside the box, Jamieson took on Chris Duvall, cutting inside both the defender and the covering Dax McCarty before burying a composed low finish past Luis Robles for a goal that belied his first team inexperience in just his second MLS appearance.
VIDEO: Bradford Jamieson IV’s goal against New York Red Bulls (via LA Galaxy on YouTube):
With the ongoing absence of Robbie Keane, Jamieson has been thrust into first team action, earning a first start for the Galaxy in last week’s 2-1 win against Sporting Kansas City at StubHub Center. The pacy forward made an instant impression, constantly looking to stretch the Sporting defence with 10 attempted dribbles – two more than rest of his teammates combined.Embed from Getty Images
What impressed in the game against New York was Jamieson’s willingness to work for the team. Against a more solid defensive unit there was less opportunity for Jamieson to take on his opponents but the youngster attempted seven tackles, more than any of Galaxy’s four defenders.
With the Red Bulls dominant in possession, LA required Jamieson to provide an outlet further up the pitch. He consistently held the ball up and released teammates in a disciplined performance that served as an exciting glimpse of the striker’s potential and provided further evidence of Galaxy’s productive academy.
Since signing Tristan Bowen on the first-ever MLS homegrown contract in 2008, LA Galaxy have been one of the more successful teams in the league for producing their own players. Gyasi Zardes last season scored 16 goals for Galaxy, the highest single-season tally for a homegrown signing, whilst Jose Villarreal and Oscar Sorto recently turned out for the US U-23s.Embed from Getty Images
Galaxy have a reputation for bringing in big-money signings, having bought the likes of David Beckham, Robbie Keane and now Steven Gerrard over recent years, but the emergence of Jamieson, Zardes and Villarreal shows that the team continue to lead the league in youth development too.
Do LA Galaxy have the best youth development policy in MLS?