Los Angeles Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com
Thursday, May 17, 2012
FULLERTON, Calif. – The Los Angeles Blues are proud to announce they have secured the services of former Chivas USA and Cuban national team striker Maykel Galindo. The 31-year-old, who scored 12 goals in 35 appearances for his country before defecting in 2005, joins the USL PRO side following a successful career in MLS that saw him find the net 18 times in 67 matches while with the Goats.
“Maykel is an experienced forward who has proven he can score goals at the highest level in North America,” Blues Associate Head Coach Shayon Jalayer said. “He’s also quite technical, so we’re bringing in another guy who is not only able to stretch defenders with his lightening pace but who can also combine with the other skillful players around him.”
Galindo began his professional career in 2002 with Cuban first division outfit FC Villa Clara, for whom he scored 31 goals in 87 appearances. His performances quickly made him one of his country’s rising stars and earned him a selection to the national team for the 2005 Gold Cup in the United States.
After scoring in a match against Costa Rica on July 9, the then 24-year-old successfully defected in Seattle, Wash., where he would also sign his first North American contract with the USL's Seattle Sounders. After spending two injury-riddled seasons with the club, Galindo was picked up by Chivas USA in 2007 and became the Cinderella story of MLS by scoring 12 goals in his very first season and finishing fifth in the Golden Boot race.
Despite continuing injury struggles, the Cuban would remain a key figure in the Goats’ attack for three more years, during which he also had a brief loan stint with D2 side FC Tampa Bay. In 2011, he signed with Chivas USA’s league rivals FC Dallas, with whom he stayed until the end of the campaign.
“After my time in Dallas, I didn’t know whether I would continue playing because Los Angeles is my city and I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go somewhere else again,” Galindo said. “Then the opportunity with the Blues came about and allowed me to stay in the area. It definitely also helped that I know several of the guys on the team because they’ve played in MLS.
“I trained with the Blues for the first time about a year ago, but this time a lot of people called me and pushed hard for me to sign. They told me about all the new players that were signed and it sounded very good. When I joined the camp, everybody welcomed me and really made me feel like part of the team. I’m extremely happy to be here and excited to play my first game as soon as possible.”
One of the new players brought in by the Blues coaches is recent addition Bright Dike. The Portland Timbers striker joined the Blues on loan last week and registered a goal and an assist in his first two appearances with the USL PRO side, picking up Team of the Week honors in the process.
“Galindo and Dike could complement each other very well,” Shayon Jalayer said. “While Bright is good in the air and brings the strength to hold the ball up and allow others to join the attack, Maykel can feed off those lay-offs and flick-ons by blasting past him and that way getting himself into scoring positions inside the box.”
The presence of Dike is only one of the reasons Galindo is excited about joining the Blues.
“I really want to do well with this team, which means reaching the playoffs and fighting for a championship,” he said. “Everyone is putting a lot of effort into making the Blues successful, and I think we have the ownership, staff, coaches and players to make it happen. As a forward, I obviously want to sore goals, but the results are much more important to me. We win and lose as a team.”