Eat My Goal: Jose Villarreal Gets on the Board for L.A. Galaxy

With 20 minutes left in Wednesday night’s game at Vancouver and the Galaxy down 2-0, L.A. coach Bruce Arena decided to put in Jose Villarreal. It would only be Villarreal’s second professional appearance. The 18-year-old, one of L.A.’s two “Homegrown” players, hails from Inglewood — that’s right … Inglewood — and MLS actually allowed the Galaxy to bend some of the rules around signing Homegrown players so they could protect him from getting bought by a European club.

In the 85th minute, with the score now 2-1, Villarreal showed his potential. He received a pass from Juninho, spun away from his defender, and from the edge of the penalty area fired a left-footed blast past Whitecaps keeper Joe Cannon.

Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, and the full Galaxy arsenal mobbed the teenager. Beckham did the old put-your-hands-on-another-guy’s-back-and-leap-up-over-the-group move. Juninho knelt down and gave Villarreal’s left boot a fake polish. In a postgame interview, on KDOC, Villarreal said he wasn’t sure who he’d call first back home because the rates from Vancouver were too expensive. David Beckham, please buy that boy an international calling card!

Andrew Lewellen (@AndyHLew), a former college soccer player and youth coach, is now a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. He writes about soccer on his blog,

Filed Under: David Beckham, MLS, Soccer