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Sunday, 11th February

After such an incredible day yesterday, I found it quite difficult to get much sleep as I was still buzzing from all the excitement. Thanks to my good friend, George, I didn't have to worry about how to get to the tryout as he offered to come and pick me up. My tryout was scheduled for 9:20 am and imagine my delight as I opened the curtains in my hotel room to see that rain was pouring from the skies. With my face still stinging after getting burnt yesterday, this truly was a gift from the gods. I would have my tryout whilst it was raining and not in the midday sun, like yesterday. Perfect.

George and Albert came and collected me from the hotel and once again we made our way to the HDC. However, as we parked up and started walking to the registration point I felt like I was in an old cowboy film. Gone were the film crews, radio broadcasters and journalists of yesterday, the HDC was now a ghost town. There was an eerie hush that was around the complex and part of me felt that it would be rude to talk. I therefore felt very silly as I was dressed in my new Galaxy training shirt and LA raiders hoodie, complete with a backward-facing Galaxy baseball cap to finish off the look. It appeared to me that the rain really was dampening the spirits of the tryout but I never expected the news I was about to hear.

After registering for the second tryout, before long there was a murmur going around that they would have to postpone / alter our tryout times because of the rain. Unbelievable. Now the rain was absolutely nothing compared to the rain back home, it was only a light drizzle. I could piss more rain to be honest. But soon my worst fears were confirmed - they had chaged our tryout time to 1pm. Brilliant. The ideal conditions for me had passed me by and, sure enough, within minutes of the decision the skies cleared to reveal bright, basking sun once more.

We met up with Adam again and also a couple of guys from Stoke and went to kill time getting some food and a drink but when we eventually went back to the HDC, I couldn't help feeling that I had lost my energy somewhat for the tryout. If you play football, you know that part of it is preparing yourself mentally for the game and, as our tryout was supposed to take place 4 hours earlier, when the tryout got underway I realised that I had reached my peak at around 9:30 and was now in a lethargic slump. Couple that with glorious sunshine and I knew it was the recipe for disaster.

As a result, I didn't enjoy the second tryout. The only good thing was that two new Riot Squad members had turned up to give me their support, so a big thanks to Sugar and Shooter for making the trip to watch such a lame game of football. I know that it was a rubbish game to play in so what it must have looked like from a spectators point of view I can only imagine. I'm not saying that I was ever going to be good enough to make it for the Galaxy (I was closed down a lot quicker than yesterday which I wasn't prepared for) but I just kind of wish I had gotten to play when we were supposed to as I felt 'up' for it then. The match itself was very frustrating, I hardly touched the ball and when I did, things that I would normally do with my eyes closed suddenly messed up. I guess that's the breaks sometimes. Everybody was hanging on to the ball too much as they were trying to showcase their skills and you kind of end up not bothering to make the runs 'cause you know they won't pass. I wanted to come off the pitch having nothing left in the tank but when the final whistle blew, I just felt a bit fed-up (and sun-burnt again). Still, that said, it didn't stop me getting enough footage to make a video about the REAL reason I didn't get drafted! Watch the shocking evidence of my demise here!

 

So after my tryout, I was feeling pretty poo. That was until I bumped into Matt who I had met yesterday. He was the guy who emailed me before I came out and we ended up on the same team. He told me he had already had his tryout and so the group of us went up to the reception area to find out if we had gotten through. I wasn't really sure why I was waiting as I already knew the answer but I couldn't have been more happier when the list was put up and Matt had only gone and gotten himself into the final f*cking tryout! Hot dog! I was over the moon! I made big show about not getting through for my video but the funniest thing was when an official camerman from the Galaxy came up and asked me how I felt about not getting through. Playing around, I looked angry and started putting my hand in front of the lens as if I was getting madder. I thought the guy realised I was messing about so acted-up even more by shaking my head and telling him to get out of my face. It was only by looking into his eyes and seeing the shocked expression on his face that I realised that he thought I was being serious and he started apologising. This then made me feel bad for making him s*it his pants so I started apologising, ending up in some apologetic mess where we bot patted each other on the back saying, 'Sorry' over and over. To be fair to him, Shooter and Adam weren't sure if I was being real either, I guess maybe with my new-found acting skills I could take a shot at Hollywood instead...

I really was so happy to think that Matt had made it to the final game, absolutely awesome to think of all the coincidences along the way and now, for me, I had a happy ending to my quest. I really couldn't have been any happier if it had been my name on the sheet, I was just so chuffed that Matt had made it. The best bit was when he actually saw his name on the list because there were loads of people clambering to see the list and he pointed it out in front of everybody. In your face! There was no way I was going to miss his tryout, especially after the way he had been so cool to me and so we arranged to go over to his pitch after I had sorted out a little plan of my own.

Yesterday, I had met a very cool guy from the LA Galaxy staff called Gary Gomez. Gary had seen my website and was really helpful all day yesterday and, after a little chat and a nod, I was whisked away to go on my very own privae tour of the ground. And what a ground. The Home Depot Center is an absolutely fantastic set-up. The ground itself has so many good things going for it and I felt very privileged to view it. I went into the Galaxy offices, the press room, the players lounge, the locker room (where I saw Beck's locker space for when he arrives) went out onto the pitch, went into the directors box, the stadium club and really got an amzing glimpse of what a great club the LA Galaxy is. My only regret is that I didn't take my camera with me but, again, I didn't want to appear rude when people had treated me so well. Luckily for me, George had kindly waited outside and got a cool shot of me above the Home Depot Center sign, as if I owned the place! I must again say a huge thanks to Gary and all of the Galaxy staff for their generosity and the way they welcomed me during my visit.

Kind man, Gary Gomez, takes a blind Kev on a magical mystery tour of the HDC

After the tour, George and Albert had to make tracks so it was just me and Shooter who remained to go and cheer on Matt. I hadn't really had the chance to speak to Shooter so it was cool to find out about him. We certainly had plenty of time as the walk to the 'David Beckham' pitch was a bloody long way. Somehow, we managed to take a random route and ended up scaling some big-ass fence in order to get to the pitch. It was a great way to introduce myself to Shooter. 'Hi I'm Kev, I never know where I am going. I just walk. And if anything gets in my way, just climb over and keep on walking.' I don't know what he made of me but he said he hadn't scaled a fence in like 15 years. Welcome to my world!

Watching Matt play it looked like the same thing as earlier. Everybody was, understandably, trying to do their own thing and, as a result, Matt wasn't really seeing much of the ball. It didn't help that he was taken out by some guy and it looked like he had done his ankle in. He managed to shrug it off and was making some good runs but when it came to the final ball, he was getting neglected. It was a real shame because when we played on the same team, you could see he was good on the ball and a good finisher. Like I said earlier, sometimes you just don't get the breaks. Still, I think he should be incredibly proud of what he has achieved. Getting from 800 down to the last 30 is absolutely awesome and I am sure he will make it at his next tryout in March. Good luck, Matt! I have made a little compilation of Matt's best bits and the tour of the HDC here. This video contains rude words. (I'm not sure of I mentioned yesterday but Matt is from North Carolina hence the music. How lucky to find a song that mentions Carolina and California! God bless you, Google!) It was a pleasure playing on the same team, Sir, and best of luck.

 

Celebrity hand, 'The Thing' from the Addams family, points out Matt's success story

After his tryout, I managed to nab Alexi to give my girl, Nikki, a message about how I had done and then Shooter took me and Matt back to our hotels to get cleaned up. Shooter then took us out to a pick-up game involving some of the other members of the Riot Squad and Matt and I could finally forget about football for a bit, have a beer and enjoy the hospitality of the Riot Squad. We spent the evening round Twiggs, had fine food (why are the tacos in the UK so rubbish?) and good beer. Unfortuantely, Matt found out later that evening that he hadn't been selected but he took it in fine fashion by deciding to get wasted! I still have no idea how he made his flight at 7am the next morning.

As you will have seen since the beginning of my site, one of the main supporters along the way have been the fabulous Riot Squad. During my entire time in LA they treated me like a Prince. They fed me, clothed me, tried to shelter me from the sun, gave me transport, chanted my name, got thrown out of the tryouts for being too noisy for me, showed me the sites and every single one of them was cool as f*ck. So, Beckham, if you are reading this (or in all reality someone is probably reading it for you) then you have joined one hell of a club. These guys are some of the best supporters I have ever met and you should definitely go out of your way to meet them.

For me, in my own way of saying thanks, I have made the following recruitment video about the wonders of the Riot Squad. Watch it, digest it and then get yourself over to Section 138 of the Home Depot Center and join in the fun!

 

Finally, I felt that it wasn't enough just to do a little video so I hope to show my appreciation by the following flash game I have created in their honour. During my Saturday tryout (and a reoccuring theme) you will have noticed that the sun played a huge role in my time in LA. So this game is dedicated to probably the best football chant I have ever heard about getting more sun block to cover my ghostly skin. Genius. So here to you, I say thanks to the Riot Squad. Enjoy the game, play below or download here.

WARNING! You may need the latest version of flash to enjoy the full experience!

 

 

 

 

 
   
kev@getme2thegalaxy.co.uk
 

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