The Galaxy's newest and youngest forward has obligations more pressing than competing for playing time in Major League Soccer. Jack McBean, just 16, is off for Jamaica with the U.S. under-17 national team to play in qualifiers for this summer's FIFA U-17 World Cup.
McBean, a Corona del Mar High School sophomore who last month signed a Home Grown Player contract with the Galaxy, is among four players with local ties on U.S. coach Wilmer Cabrera's 20-player roster for the 12-nation CONCACAF U-17 Championship that kicks off Monday in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Forward Mario Rodriguez, from North Hollywood, is among seven players in their fourth semester of residency and is one of the team's most experienced players, with 18 under-17 caps. Esteban Rodriguez, from Palmdale, has 14 caps. The fourth local player, Paul Arriola, is from the San Diego area but plays club soccer for Alta Loma's Arsenal FC.
The U.S. will face Cuba in a Group B opener Monday and Panama next Friday. The title game is Feb. 27. The top four teams will advance to the June 18-July 10 World Cup in Mexico.
Local players on the roster (with hometown, local high school and club affiliation):
F Paul Arriola (Chula Vista), Arsenal FC
F Jack McBean (Newport Beach), Corona del Mar HS/Los Angeles Galaxy
M Esteban Rodriguez (Palmdale), Bell Gardens HS/Cosmos Academy West
F Mario Rodriguez (North Hollywood), Poly HS (Sun Valley)/Central Aztecs