New pro: Monday was the first day on the job for teenage Galaxy striker Jack McBean who trained for the first time with the MLS squad (Photos by Daily Breeze Staff Photographer Brad Graverson).
Jack McBean wasn’t out to slay any Galaxy giants when he joined the squad for his first-ever training session Monday at Home Depot Center.
“It’s not so much intimidating as (I am) just a little bit nervous,” McBean said. “I’m not really challenging anyone for their spots right now so I don’t think they’re (concerned about me).”
Landon Donovan for one is going out of his way to ensure McBean feels welcome, remembering what it was like for him as a homesick teen in Germany training with hostile German pros:
“Today was his first training session with us,” Donovan said. “You could see he was a little apprehensive, cautious and that’s normal. But it will be nice for him to know he can be himself, express himself, (that) there’s no pressure. He’s not expected to play, he’s not expected to perform. If he does well he may get a chance here or there. But he’s got time to develop.”
McBean has one advantage over some other young prospects I’ve talked to in the past: he’s a smart kid with a 3.9 GPA.
In fact, not only did he join the workforce this week, he’s also taking his high school finals in a program that should enable the high school sophomore to graduate a year early by the end of 2012.
Mike Magee, himself the youngest player drafted in the history of the former MetroStars when Bob Bradley took him in the 2003 draft as an 18-year-old, had this advice for McBean:
Jack will have the time of his life,” McGee said. “I hope he doesn’t take it for granted.”
Read more about McBean in today’s column.
Incidentally, I asked Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena about why teen prospect Tristan Bowen of Van Nuys didn’t stick with the Galaxy. A player many fans saw as the future of the club was traded to Chivas USA in the off-season, apparently in part because of salary cap implications as the Galaxy was in the process of acquiring a high-priced striker:
“We think that Tristan is going to be a good player,” Arena said. “I don’t question that. He wasn’t yet ready to play for us. There was some value associated with the move. At the time we felt in the short term it was the best thing for us.”