Chris Birchall has been assured job security at Los Angeles Galaxy

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lorenzo bernardi

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  • Chris Birchall has been assured job security at Los Angeles Galaxy

Chris Birchall has been assured job security at Los Angeles Galaxy

It has been two years since Chris Birchall arrived at the Home Depot Center in California. Now that he has been assured he would be a permanent member of Bruce Arena’s pecking order, he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders.

Midfielder by trade, the player had a good start in the last season and started 24 matches for Los Galacticos. However, the addition of the Ukrainian Dmytro Kovalenko  in the midfield made it hard for the Trinidad international to climb up the pecking order. Now that the international player is not with the clubs anymore, job security has been solidified to Chris, a place that was confirmed by the coach after the performance of the team in the preseason match against Colorado Rapids. The team lost the match 4—2. “It’s my place to lose, really,” he told the media after the preseason match. “I’ve got to go out and cement that place in the defensive midfield and try and help the back four. Bruce has told me my job and it’s up to me to go try and do it.”

Birchall has to foresee the responsibility put on his young shoulders. The player will be a key in rolling and distributing the ball in the field. A holding midfielder, according to Bruce Arena, has the duty of “holding the ball” and passing it to the forwards. With the likes of Landon Donovan and new face to the club, Juan Pablo Angel, the job become more exciting for the British-born. “I have to look after the back four if our outside backs need to tuck in, win the balls and give it to the players who can do a lot with it,” he said. “Whoever’s in there, I just release a little differently to them and then help more with the defence and win the balls back.”

The player realises the role handed down to him by the head coach. According to the experts, Chris has been given the most important role in the field. He most certainly has to assist the defence in dire needs and in addition to that he also has to facilitate the strikers uptown.

With confidence inculcated into the player by the coach he looks forward to starting the new season without repeating the mistakes committed in the last season and the preseason match against Colorado Rapids. “I’ve got a very good 18 months under my belt in MLS now,” he said. “I’m looking forward to playing.”

The team lost the MLS Cup semi-final to FC Dallas, 3—1. A mistake the club still repents. However, Bruce Arena has put all that behind and looks forward to the new adventure and chance to redeem the honour.

The team will kick start its upcoming season with an away scrimmage on March 15 against Seattle Sounders FC  at Qwest Field in Washington.


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