From MLS/LA Galaxy.com reports
Josh Turley waited for his time to come, and finally on Wednesday night, he had his first MLS start with the LA Galaxy.
The former Beaver High and Georgetown University standout, drafted in 2016 by the five-time MLS Cup champions, had been anxiously awaiting his chance with the first team, and it finally came to fruition Wednesday night in the U.S. Open Cup’s round of 16 against Sacramento Republic at StubHub Center.
The 23-year-old left back was pressed into duty because of a rash of injuries to the Galaxy’s back line and responded with a strong effort in a 2-0 victory that put Los Angeles in the quarterfinals.
“I thought he grew as the game went along,” Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo said, “and had a pretty solid performance.”
Turnley isn’t exactly a stranger to the first team. He had been training with the parent club during the preseason before he was sidelined by a strained left quad. Turnley eventually recovered and worked out again with the first team for the last week before Onalfo gave him some welcome news.
Onalfo called him a couple of days ago and told him he would be used in Wednesday’s game. Turnley naturally couldn’t have been happier.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to start,” he said. “At that point I started to get my mind set and locked in to helping the team wherever I can. Then a day later I found out I was starting.”
Turnley went the full 90 minutes against Sacramento Republic and was one of the Galaxy’s steadiest performers.
“I felt confident … no real nerves,” he said. “I was really excited to be on the back line and get the shutout, and to get one start under my belt with the first team felt really good.
“I’ve been trying to break in for a little while now. To actually get my chance, to come in and do a solid job really gave me a boost of confidence. Hopefully I can continue to do well and get more chances going forward.”
Such opportunities could happen. Right back Robbie Rogers has been lost for the season with ankle problems and fellow backliners Daniel Steres and Bradley Diallo are returning from injuries. Center back Jelle Van Damme also picked up a yellow card accumulation suspended.
Turnley said he’ll be ready should he get called on again. He’s always been ready, as it turns out.
“I’m always focused on what I want to do with the second team,” he said. “I just put my best foot forward and try to have good performances with them. In the back of my mind I’m always thinking you have to be ready when Curt calls you. You just have to go out there and do what you know you can do.
“I know I can keep improving and take positive steps to work my way forward to more minutes with the (first) team. I’m just excited for the challenge. I’m looking forward to push the bar, compete with them and hopefully get some minutes. That’s the goal.”