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Blues Add Former Red Bull
24-year-old Garcia returns to native California

Los Angeles Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com

Friday, March 23, 2012

FULLERTON, Calif. – The Los Angeles Blues are excited to announce they have signed attacking ace and Southern California product Irving Garcia for the upcoming USL PRO season, pending league approval. The 24-year-old joins the Fullerton-based club after spending the 2010 campaign with MLS side New York Red Bulls and subsequently playing professionally with Guatemalan outfit Antigua GFC.

Garcia, who hails from Ventura, Calif., transferred to UC Irvine from Yavapai College in 2008 and registered seven goals and nine assists over the course of two seasons with the Anteaters, helping them to back-to-back Big West Championship titles. Also a standout for the Premier Development League’s (PDL) Orange County Blue Star during his final college year, the California native caught the eye of the Red Bulls coaches, who selected him in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

During his time with the star-studded club, Garcia served as backup to such attacking greats as Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel, Juan Agudelo, Joel Lindpere and Dane Richards while still managing to turn some heads in exhibition matches and the U.S. Open Cup. Highlights included his strong performances in the 3-1 friendly win over Italian giants Juventus and the 3-0 Open Cup victory over the Colorado Rapids, in which he assisted on the day’s first goal.

“It’s not a coincidence that Irving was drafted by the Red Bulls and impressed in the matches he played in,” Blues Head Coach Charlie Naimo said. “He’s a very busy player and the tricky guy in our attack who we think will give opponents fits with his creativity and work rate. As we’re making progress as a group everyday, you can see how his style is clicking more and more with his teammates. He adds a crucial element to our game.”

The excitement is mutual, with Garcia providing an all-around positive assessment of his new surroundings.

“So far, everything has been fantastic, starting with the players and the coaches all getting along really well,” he said. “That’s very important for success. In addition, I think we bring a different style of play to the league, which is another big reason I signed with the Blues. While everyone here works hard for each other, our objective is really to keep possession and make other teams chase. As we’re getting to know each other better, we’re able to do that more and more. That’s fun to be a part of.”

While Garcia is used to being looked to as the main threat up top or the creative engine behind the strikers, that role doesn’t define the meaning of success for him.

“My goal is not to be the top scorer or have the most assists,” he said. “I came here to win, and it’s great to see that the rest of the guys look at it the same way. In an ideal world, I want to win the title with the team also playing an attractive style. To me, that’s just part of showing respect for our fans, who pay to go to our games and hope for a great performance from us. Of course it can’t always be pretty, but the least we owe them is to honor our logo and give it our best every time we step on the field.”

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