Just when Jose Villarreal was beginning to make a name for himself in MLS, he was sent off to Mexican club Cruz Azul on a loan deal. It was good news to see this player be recognized by an outside club, but a bit of an upset for fans who were in love with young Inglewood-native’s new spot on the team. Villarreal hadn’t been gone for too long when Cruz Azul terminated his loan contract, and he was on a flight home to Los Angeles. Upon his return to Los Angeles Galaxy, he was quickly “loaned” to second team LA Galaxy II.
One may choose to focus on the fact that he could not adjust to Cruz Azul’s playing style and was not a good fit for the club, but there is a lot more to it. It’s good news for Galaxy for Villarreal to be back home. It allowed him to spread his wings a little, but he obviously is better suited stateside for the time being. The 20-year-old was one of Galaxy’s first homegrown player signings, and he was a fruitful catch. He has become a strong forward and will only get better with time.
Villarreal played his first match with LA Galaxy II on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Although LA Galaxy II lost, he was the only player to score a goal for the team. It will be great to see him lead LA Galaxy II in many more matches, and hopefully he will earn his return to LA Galaxy’s first team. In the meantime, it will be great to see him play alongside his brother Jaime Villarreal. Both Jose and Jaime Villarreal were LA Galaxy academy members who signed on to play for the club. It’s great to see academy products work their way to MLS.