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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MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs LA Galaxy 

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, March 28 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports 5)

Match Odds: DC United 9/5 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 7/5

Match Preview

DC United host an unbeaten LA Galaxy side at RFK Stadium tomorrow evening in one of the standout fixtures of the weekend.

United, who finished top of the Eastern Conference in 2014, have started slowly this campaign and need to start reproducing the form we saw from them last season if they are to be a force again.

Galaxy have won once and drawn twice in their opening three and they will hope to continue that unbeaten run with a positive away result in DC.

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Bruce Arena needs to put an end to the Galaxy’s winless seven-game away streak, but this will be a tough ask at RFK Stadium.

DC have a tough run of fixtures coming up so need to make their home advantage count against the reigning MLS Cup champions. They will take consideration to Galaxy’s winless run on the road but they haven’t beaten their opponents since 2008.

Head coach Ben Olsen will be delighted that his side are not weakened by any international call-ups this week and the fact that LA are without Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes will be a worry for their supporters.

Team News

DC have four main injury concerns, Markus Halsti and Michael Seaton (knee), Luis Silva (hamstring) and Eddie Johnson (heart condition) will all be absent for the tie. Fabian Espindola is still suspended and without him, they have only netted once so far. Chris Pontius is likely to start alongside Jairo Arrieta once again in attack.

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LA have two injuries to deal with, Kenney Walker (groin) and Brian Perk (leg). But international games have decimated the Galaxy squad as Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Oscar Sorto, Bradford Jamieson IV and Jaime Penedo will all miss out. We can expect both Stefan Ishizaki and Jose Villarreal to continue to impress while Edson Buddle will need to score the goals in the absence of Keane and Zardes.

Key Points

DC United’s form: W/L

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/D

Key Stat: Unbeaten – As mentioned, Galaxy haven’t lost to DC since 2008 – a streak of ten games, and they will be hoping to continue that run this weekend.

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Key Player: Jose Villarreal – The young winger has made a great start to the season and has reportedly turned down a US U23 call-up to play this game. He has assisted goals in the past two games, and picked up a goal in the first. Expect him to be involved if the Galaxy are to find their first away win in seven.

Score Prediction

DC United 1-2 LA Galaxy – Bruce Arena’s men have started the season well and the squad is looking good. They can take advantage of DC’s slow start but will be worked hard for a win, especially with so many players out on international duty.