Galaxy courts McBean

Jack McBean turned 16 years old in December.

A month later, he is closer to turning pro.

Corona del Mar High boys' soccer coach George Larsen said McBean, a player he has coached since he was 8, is expected to sign a professional contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy, which will make McBean one of the youngest players in Major League Soccer.

Larsen said McBean's father, Scotty, called him Tuesday night to inform him of the Galaxy's initial offer made that day.

"They were anticipating taking a week to two weeks to finalize all the details to the contract," said Larsen, who did not divulge the length or the amount of the contract the Galaxy initially offered McBean.

"It's a special moment for a kid, who is getting a special opportunity. He deserves that opportunity. I couldn't be prouder of him. We're all rooting for him. We're hoping to see him in that [Galaxy] jersey."

McBean, a sophomore, traded in the Sea Kings' jersey for the opportunity to join the big leagues in the states.

The 6-foot striker stood out during his time with the Galaxy's under-16 academy team. He turned it up a notch after helping CdM in his freshman season to CIF Southern Section Division IV and CIF Southern California Regional Division II titles.

McBean played only one match for CdM this season before deciding to focus on a chance to be a part of the U.S. under-17 national team at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico this summer.

Larsen said McBean has been training with the national team in Bradenton, Fla., where McBean is one of 40 players trying to earn a U.S. roster spot for the CONCACAF U-17 championship next month in Jamaica. The event is a qualifier for the World Cup.

Larsen expects McBean to make the final cut. From the reports he has gathered, his former player is performing well.

McBean must be if the Galaxy are close to signing the 16-year-old to a professional deal.

"At 16, is he going to be playing next year at [the] Home Depot [Center]? No, I don't think so," said Larsen, adding that McBean, who also starred under Larsen with the Newport Beach-based Slammers Futbol Club, will be the first player he has coached to turn professional. "The plan is to put him in the best possible environment to push him and challenge him, and allow him to improve, all across the board."

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