The LA Galaxy bolstered their back line on Wednesday with the signing of defender Dave Romney.
The 22-year-old defender from Irvine is the first player ever to be signed to a first team contract from USL affiliate Galaxy II. Romney’s rise has been a rapid one as just a year earlier, the University of San Francisco grad was playing for amateur side San Francisco City FC, and helping lead the team to their first-ever berth in the U.S. Open Cup.
During his only season with Los Dos, Romney has made 17 appearances while tallying a single assist. His play for Galaxy II even earned him a brief one-game loan to the first team for a 3-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo. Although the result was not ideal, Galaxy boss Bruce Arena labeled the defender the team’s “best player” in the disappointing defeat.
Less than a year after suiting up for an amateur club, even Romney is amazed by his sudden ascension.
“I haven’t really thought of it too much, it’s all still pretty surreal. I’ve just kept even-keeled and focused each day at a time,” said Romney. “It’s crazy. Growing up, I watched these guys playing on TV and going to games to see them play. It’s pretty surreal to train with them and see them in the locker room.
“My friends and family are calling me telling me how this journey has been insane but I haven’t thought about it yet. I don’t know when it’s going to hit me but it’s pretty amazing.”
And the fact that he is the first player from Los Dos to make the jump to the Galaxy is not lost on the young defender.
I learned that I was the first USL player to play after the Houston game and I was pretty shocked,” Romney admitted. “It’s a fresh program but a lot of the guys with Galaxy II will be here soon in the coming years. You’ll see a lot of that team up here with the first team. It’s a great program to start and it was LA to pioneer it.” “
Romney expects to make his first appearance as a full-fledged member of the Galaxy on Thursday when the club takes on Central FC in CONCACAF Champions League play.
Just how he’ll be used, however, still remains up in the air, as the defender has seen time at both left back and in central defense during his time in the organization. Romney says that Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and the coaching staff have stated that they intend to use him in both manners with an eye to possibly turning him into a full-time center back in the future.
Wherever he plays, Romney is eager to contribute and bring the same consistency that he has offered Los Dos to the first team.
“My college coach told me that I wasn’t going to wow anyone at a training session or at a combine which I didn’t but if I got into a system, trained consistenly and kept getting looks then coaches will see that and like you a lot. That’s what happened here,” Romney said. “Now I just want to get on the field and play now.”