Cal State Dominguez Hills junior defender Kevin Gallaugher was today named the Division II National Player of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
He led the Toro defense to 14 shutouts on the year, including three in five games in the NCAA postseason. The defense gave up just 19 goals on the season.
It’s the first such honor for the program in eight years, when Juan Carlos “JC” Bolanos led CSUDH to its 2000 NCAA Title.
“Throughout the year in our 27 games, I don’t think Kevin had one bad game,” reflects head coach Joe Flanagan, who also coached Bolanos during the 2000 run. “This award shows how complete and prepared of a player he is in every game, and the level he played at. As a great defender, he truly deserves the opportunity to be player of the year.”
In other news that filtered out over the holidays:
*Two Galaxy players – David Beckham and Landon Donovan – are in Dubai training with two different European teams.
*HDC press box colleague Luis Bueno brings us up to date on Chivas USA midfielder Panchito Mendoza, who played over the weekend in CD Guadalajara’s 2-1 win over Necaxa. Bueno translates what Mendoza had to say about the Mexican league in comparison to MLS.
*The New York Times Goal blog follows the lead of England’s FourFourTwo magazine and asks famous players to name their best all-time team. Chivas USA’s Claudio Suarez names his here.
*The U.S. men’s Under-18 National Team on Sunday began a week-long 72-player camp at Home Depot Center. Among the locals being evaluated by former Chivas USA assistant coach and newly-appointed U-18 Coach Mike Matkovich are: defender Jesus Gonzales (Chino Hills, Calif.; FC Barcelona); midfielders Eder Arreola (Chino Hills; UCLA), Antonio Benitez (Azusa; LAFC Chelsea), Miles Byass (San Bernardino; Arsenal FC), Alejandro Cobarubias (Cudahy; Galaxy), Pablo Cruz (Azusa; LAFC Chelsea), Chris Ortega (Chula Vista; Arsenal FC), Patrick Otte (Thousand Oaks; Middlesborough Academy); Giovanni Rollie (Los Angeles; LAFC Chelsea), Michael Roman (Oxnard; Real So Cal); forwards Orr Baroush (Reseda; Chivas USA Academy), Marquis Brooks (Chula Vista; Galaxy),
*Celebrities confirmed for the second annual Mia Hamm & Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge, a Jan. 17 charity soccer match benefiting Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the Mia Hamm Foundation at Home Depot Center include: skateboarding pros Tony Hawk and Ryan Sheckler, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh, former NFL running back Marcus Allen, Zachary Levi of Chuck, Jimmy Jean Louis of Heroes and Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. Tickets are $20 through the HDC box office or via TicketMaster.
Finally, a reminder that $50 gets you a tryout Jan. 17-18 with PDL team Ventura County Fusion. Details here.
Sporadic posting will continue through the new year. But check back tomorrow for my regular weekly column and a poll.