By NICHOLAS MURRAY – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, January 24, 2016
In another time, it’s unlikely that a story like that of Dave Romney’s might have happened.
A solid career for the University of San Francisco, aside, there was no invitation to the MLS Combine, and his workout for the San Jose Earthquakes didn’t go as he hoped.
That was when Dons Head Coach Eddie Soto put in a call to LA Galaxy II Coach Curt Onalfo.
“I have a lot of trust in Eddie Soto,” Onalfo said in a new video produced by the USF Athletics Department highlighting Romney’s path to the LA Galaxy. “I think he’s an excellent coach. He’s got a very good eye for talent. He told me he thought Dave Romney was a very, very good player right out of college, and in the right environment could be very successful.”
Soto knew what he had in Romney, who might not necessarily have caught the eye with his consistent play at the back for the Dons, but could certainly find a solid place in the professional ranks.
“Dave was by far our most consistent player,” Soto said. “He’s someone that I think they’re starting to recognize as a true professional. He takes care of his body. He’s got a great mentality. He’s very simple. He’s not a flashy player.”
That solidity proved valuable for Los Dos. After starting the season on the fringes of the team, a slow start and injuries saw Onalfo put him into the starting lineup. The rest, as they say, is history.
“Once he stepped into the lineup he really didn’t put a foot wrong,” said Onalfo.
Romney was one of two former Dons to excel in the professional ranks last season, as Miguel Aguilar also had a solid rookie season for D.C. United with 17 appearances.
Romney, though is a prime example of what happens when a player seizes the opportunity placed in front of him. His partnership with Daniel Steres – who will join Romney in the Galaxy’s MLS squad this season – was a key to the Galaxy II’s successful 2015.
As players like Romney look to find their way into the pro ranks in the USL this preseason, the first player to move from Los Dos to the Galaxy has some simple advice.
“Every single day, go out there and train as hard as you can,” he said. “Do extra work, get extra treatment, it just gets you that much readier for the next day.”
As for Romney himself, after his call-up to the U.S. U23 National Team this offseason, the sky could be the limit.
“He has all the tools to make it at the highest level,” said Onalfo. “He’s got to apply that to his day-to-day work with the Galaxy first team. He’s got to fight each day to try and get himself into a starting position, and then from there continue to move forward.”