LA Galaxy success is homegrown as Bradford Jamieson IV bursts onto MLS scene

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.

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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.

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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?

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Do Spurs really need USMNT and Sounders star DeAndre Yedlin?

When DeAndre Yedlin signed for Tottenham in the summer there were eyebrows raised.

And he has recently revealed that he turned down an offer from Italian giants Roma to play in north London, so he must feel that it is the right choice.

But although Yedlin is a young talent with bags of potential, the Seattle Sounders star will be battling it out for a starting place with three young English talents in Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton and Eric Dier.

Dier has been operating in the right-back position this season, though he is a natural centre-back and would surely move more central when Yedlin arrives.

While Naughton has been linked with a move away from Spurs over the past few months, so Yedlin’s arrival at the club could spell the end for him, which would make things a bit easier for the 21-year-old.

Yedlin has been sensational this year and took high acclaim when he kept Eden Hazard quiet at the World Cup in the summer.

And although the Premier League would suit his highly energized playing style, he seems to be in the same mould as Kyle Walker.

So do Spurs really need him?

Well, using Walker’s stats from last season, as he is yet to feature this campaign, Yedlin is the better defensive option, and he is just as useful further forward.

Statistic DeAndre Yedlin Kyle Walker
Blocks per game 0.46 0.19
Interceptions per game 2.88 2.19
Clearances per game 3.58 3.27
Pass completion 83 % 82 %
Defensive errors per game 0.04 0.08

As seen in the table above, Yedlin would be the preferred choice in terms of defensive contribution, and with the two being like-for-like as it were, it seems that Yedlin should be first-choice.

However, dislodging Walker will take some doing, as he is a regular England international when fit, and a fan favourite at Spurs.

The stats do come from two different league’s, and Seattle’s dominance in MLS this season will have helped his statistics no end, but his talents are there for all to see and he looks set to take the Premier League by storm when he eventually completes his switch.

Should Yedlin arrive in January, it will certainly be interesting to see if Mauricio Pochettino will throw him straight into the mix, as Kyle Walker is nearing a return to fitness too.

Who would you like to see become Tottenham’s regular right-back?