The secret is out: Galaxy’s Jalen Neal ready to contribute to U.S. national team

When Jalen Neal got the news he would be called into his first training camp with the men’s national soccer team, he was told to keep quiet until the roster was announced.

That wasn’t a problem, he said.

“I told my close family and stuff,” he said. “But otherwise, no. I’m pretty good with private information.”

For his mother Sarah, however, the secrecy was very much a problem.

“That was really …” she began. “It was hard.”

Hard because the national team call-up was as much a reward for the mother as it was for her son, a 19-year-old defender with the Galaxy. A reward for the countless hours Sarah Neal, a single soccer mom, spent driving her son to and from practices and tournaments. A reward for the weekends and vacations, the late nights and early mornings that she devoted to soccer.

“Jalen and I spent so much time in the car together, eating dinners and doing homework. It just seems so draining,” she said. “But it was absolutely worth it.”

Neal will get a chance for his first cap with the national team Wednesday when the U.S. faces Serbia at BMO Stadium in its first game of the 2026 World Cup cycle. The U.S. will close its week-long January camp Saturday by facing Colombia at Dignity Health Sports Park.

But Neal said the games are just a bonus.

“The amount of playing time I get doesn’t really get to me,” he said. “What I can get out of the trainings and just being around all these guys that I’ve met that have so much more experience than me — just, you know, feeding off them — they can be a huge benefit for my career.

“You just learn little professionalism tips, small things about taking care of your body, your mind. As a young guy, you see what these older guys are going through off the field. And it makes you realize how many responsibilities I have in the future. You can only focus on soccer right now.”

There are other benefits to a first-team call-up, which Neal was only too happy to share, standing up during a Zoom call to model a blue Nike hoodie and a pair of black sweat pants, part of the swag package he received when camp opened last weekend.

“The perks that come with the men’s team are a little different,” he said.

the secret is out: galaxy’s jalen neal ready to contribute to u.s. national team
Jalen Neal of the Galaxy has his shot stopped by Brad Knighton of the New England Revolution on Feb. 5, 2022.(Shaun Clark / Getty Images)

Neal played his first game in a Long Beach-area league when he was 3 years old. At 5, he was playing with kids three years older and his soccer IQ was off the charts since he already understood how to play the ball back to the keeper to build an attack. His teammates’ parents would insist he was going the wrong way but in fact Neal’s soccer fundamentals were sounder than theirs before he started grade school.

Neal joined the Galaxy’s academy at 15 and played 48 games for the team’s USL Championship affiliate before making his first-team debut in May in a U.S. Open Cup match. He also helped the U.S. qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics, anchoring a defense that gave up just two goals in seven games in winning the CONCACAF U-20 Championship last summer. That performance earned him a selection to the all-tournament team.

It also convinced coach Greg Vanney that Neal is ready to take on a much bigger role with the Galaxy this season.

“This is going to be the year that Jalen Neal needs to take a step forward and provide us with some depth and growth,” he said. “Jalen is ready to start to step into the first-team environment.”

Neal has been immersed in an athletic environment his whole life. Older brother Mark, 24, is a semipro soccer player and his younger brother and sister play basketball and soccer — with their mother dutifully toting them to and from practices and games.

“My two little ones, they have grown up on the soccer field, literally [since] coming home from the hospital,” Sarah said.

They’ll be together as a family at another soccer field Wednesday when the Neals travel to BMO Stadium. Whether Jalen plays or not won’t dampen the excitement.

“Just seeing him in warmups is enough for me,” Sarah said. “I’ll be there crying.”

There is one issue though.

“We got tickets, but we didn’t get parking,” she said. “The game, I’m not even nervous about [it]. I’m more nervous about parking.”

Soccer moms. They think of everything.

News Related


Subway Prices Have Gotten Outrageous — Woman Complains About $23 Footlong

TikTok/@spillthechai Remember the good ol’ days when you could walk into a Subway restaurant and only spend $5 (plus tax) on a footlong? Well, those days are long behind us. ... Read more »

Deputies investigating Monday afternoon shooting in Hollywood

Deputies investigating Monday afternoon shooting in Hollywood HOLLYWOOD, S.C. (WCBD) – Deputies are investigating a Monday afternoon shooting in the Hollywood area. Officials with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said ... Read more »

Paul McCartney reveals previously-unheard Jeff Beck collaboration

null OK, don’t get too excited, but Paul McCartney has taken to Instagram on #meatfreemonday to reveal a previously unheard piece of music created for a campaign message that features ... Read more »

Camera Captures Burglars Calling Each Other by Name While Raiding Booze From Sports Bar

“Dave and Kerry” are seen filling a trashcan with bottles of booze. (Photo: Ryan Macdonald/Facebook) On Jan. 26, a duo broke into a U.K. sports bar around 3:45 a.m. and ... Read more »

Majority of Seattle's city council quitting after outrage over liberal policies

The majority of Seattle’s city council will be quitting this year after fending off a backlash in recent years over rising crime and homelessness. Seven of the nine council members ... Read more »

Memes To Help Us Get Through The Week

I feel like everyone has been in the state of mind where you often tell yourself, “I just have to get through this week.” Of course, when you inevitably get ... Read more »

Urgent Search Continues in Australia as Tiny Radioactive Capsule Remains Missing

Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock The search for radioactive capsule An urgent search for a small radioactive capsule remains underway in Western Australia, three days after officials alerted the public to the incident. According ... Read more »

Insufferable are the Woke…

The Associated Press regrets to inform you that the Little Sisters of the Poor are canceled. Martin Luther King is also done. And Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount is obviously ... Read more »

Goodbye, Houlihan's: Cherry Hill restaurant location abruptly closes

A former Houlihan’s restaurant in Cherry Hill has closed, losing its identifying signs in the process. CHERRY HILL – The party is over at Houlihan’s here. The restaurant chain’s only ... Read more »

10 Actors You Forgot Got Nominated For Oscars

10 Actors You Forgot Got Nominated For Oscars The Oscar race is on, and actors like Colin Farell and Michelle Yeoh are vying for their first victory after years of ... Read more »

John Lennon Said The Beatles Accepted an Honor From the Queen to ‘Annoy’ People

John Lennon was surprised when Queen Elizabeth awarded The Beatles MBEs. He wasn’t the only one. The decision to designate The Beatles as Members of the Order of the British ... Read more »

Report: Denver's second meeting with Jim Harbaugh possibly repelled other candidates

Denver Broncos owner & CEO Greg Penner. Did Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s second meeting with Denver owner Greg Penner repel other top candidates for the Broncos’ head-coaching opening? “Word of ... Read more »

Claudia Jordan Gets Rid Of Corns And Hammertoes With Cosmetic Feet Surgery

Claudia Jordan Gets Rid Of Corns And Hammertoes With Cosmetic Feet Surgery Media personality, reality star, and TV host Claudia Jordan recently opened up about having cosmetic surgery on her feet ... Read more »

My Mom Is About to Sink Thousands Into a Pyramid Scheme. Again.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Getty Images Plus and Spoon Graphics. Pay Dirt is Slate’s money advice column. Have a question? Send it to Lillian, Athena, and Elizabeth here. (It’s anonymous!) Dear ... Read more »

Peru Congress agrees to debate measure on earlier elections

Peru Congress agrees to debate measure on earlier elections Peru’s Congress approved on Monday a measure to once again consider a proposal that would move national elections forward to later ... Read more »

Joe Gatto's Favorite Thing About Impractical Jokers Is Extremely Heartwarming

truTV There is a lot to love about “Impractical Jokers.” Aside from the show’s best pranks and the unwitting reactions of an ensnared public, “Impractical Jokers” shows off what happens ... Read more »

The Most Underrated Steven Spielberg Movie Is Way Better Than You Remember

Tristar Pictures The name Steven Spielberg is synonymous with cinema. The man has given us velociraptors in kitchens, soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy, and a kid flying over the moon. ... Read more »

Letters to the Editor: Tyre Nichols and the deadly subculture within policing

To the editor: I’m at a complete loss as to what, if anything, the Memphis cops who mercilessly beat Tyre Nichols to death learned from the Minneapolis cops who murdered ... Read more »

‘Little Miss Sunshine’ star Abigail Breslin just got married. Feel old yet?

“Little Miss Sunshine” is all grown up. Actor and former child star Abigail Breslin revealed over the weekend that she married her “bestest friend” and longtime partner, Ira Kunyansky. The ... Read more »

Florida Sheriff Sued for ‘Wheel of Fugitive' Defamation

David Gay's prospective boss called him as he was driving to his first day of work and told him not to bother showing up as he had seen Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey's “Wheel of Fugitive" videos, the lawsuit said. Read more »

‘Shark Tank'-Winning CEO Who Started in a Garage With $2,000 Got a $250,000 Offer From Cuban, Greiner

Laura Lady is, in the words of multiple “Shark Tank” stars, a “dream entrepreneur.” The second-generation Honduran-American launched her Concord, New Hampshire-based startup FryAway out of her garage with $2,000 ... Read more »

A man accused of torturing women is using dating apps to look for victims, police say

An undated photo provided by the Grants Pass Police Department shows Benjamin Obadiah Foster, who is wanted by authorities for attempted murder, kidnapping and assault. AP hide caption toggle caption ... Read more »

John Cusack Signs With APA

Courtesy of Greg Williams EXCLUSIVE: John Cusack has signed with APA for representation after less than half a year with Gersh. The signing of the iconic actor, writer and producer ... Read more »

Manhattan DA presenting evidence in Trump-Stormy Daniels investigation to grand jury

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is investigating whether former President Donald Trump broke the law with payments allegedly made to cover up an extramarital affair with adult film actress Stormy ... Read more »

Princess of Wales launches early years campaign at Bafta event

The Prince and Princess of Wales – Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph The Princess of Wales outlined her vision for a major new public awareness campaign about the importance of ... Read more »

Carvana stock surges about 30% after trading halt (update)

Carvana Co. (NYSE:CVNA) stock rose just under 30% on Monday, continuing a wild trend for the highly-shorted stock. The strong gain came despite a halt for volatility in the opening minutes of ... Read more »

Traveling from KC for the Super Bowl? What to know about flights to, Airbnbs in Phoenix

The price of a flight out of KCI for the Super Bowl depends on how much time you’re able to take for the trip. The Kansas City Chiefs are headed ... Read more »

Waynestock to return on Thursday after almost 3 years off

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Waynestock was a cherished tradition for fans and musicians across East Tennessee. It brought together bands of many genres and created a community of people who ... Read more »

Review: Pamela Anderson captivatingly tells her own story

Review: Pamela Anderson captivatingly tells her own story “Pamela, a Love Story,” a new documentary from filmmaker Ryan White gives Pamela Anderson the chance to tell her story Pamela Anderson ... Read more »

Mega find: 9-year-old girl discovers prehistoric megalodon tooth in Maryland

This year, it wasn’t Santa Claus who brought nine-year-old Molly Sampson the best Christmas gift — it was Molly herself. On Christmas Day, Molly excitedly donned her brand-new insulated waders ... Read more »

Millionaire by 65: This Deposit at Birth Ensures Your Child Retires With Seven Figures

Retirement may not come easy for future generations. With talk of Social Security being depleted by 2035 and more people retiring later in life than they did 30 years ago ... Read more »

PagerDuty CEO apologizes for quoting Martin Luther King Jr. in layoff email to staff

PagerDuty is one of several tech companies that have reduced their workforces in recent months Read more »

Editorial: What the Tyre Nichols videos don’t show

The video of Memphis, Tenn., police pulling Tyre Nichols from his car and beating him show a gratuitous and vicious assault on an unarmed motorist who appears to try his ... Read more »

Behati Prinsloo, Adam Levine welcome third baby: But what name did they pick?

Model Behati Prinsloo and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine have reportedly welcomed their third child months after the couple weathered a scandal hinging on Levine’s social media activity. People reported ... Read more »

Michael Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson is ‘humbled’ to play his uncle in biopic

The upcoming Michael Jackson biopic is keeping things in the family. Jaafar Jackson, 26, the King of Pop’s nephew and son of Jermaine Jackson, has been cast to play the ... Read more »

Congress tightens U.S. manufacturing rules after battery technology ends up in China

An employee examines a vanadium flow battery stack in the Battery Reliability Test Laboratory at PNNL. Andrea Starr/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory hide caption toggle caption Andrea Starr/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ... Read more »

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo Welcome Their Third Baby Together

Amy Sussman/Getty Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo are officially parents of three! The Maroon 5 frontman, 43, and the former Victoria’s Secret model, 34, have ... Read more »

‘I did nothing wrong’: Walmart customer says she was falsely accused of stealing over couponing

woman telling story about being trespassed from Walmart A Walmart shopper says she was profiled and stopped from entering the store by retail staff because she was “couponing” during a ... Read more »

Alex Murdaugh trial told ‘it’s possible’ two shooters killed wife and son as mystery ‘footprint’ questioned

An investigator has admitted “it’s possible” that two shooters killed Alex Murdaugh’s wife and son as the legal scion’s attorneys sought to pick holes in the evidence gathered from the ... Read more »

Will $76,000 fix Topeka's homeless problem?

Will $76,000 fix Topeka’s homeless problem? TOPEKA (KSNT) – The City of Topeka will consider hiring a Chicago-based consulting firm to help it combat and find solutions to a growing ... Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự