CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 16: Mike Magee #18 of the Los Angeles Galaxy jumps on teammate Chad Barrett #11's back as Barrett celebrates his goal in front of Galaxy fans in the second half against Chivas USA during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on October 16, 2011 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated Chivas USA 1-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
My good friend and Angel City Brigade member Noah Eve made a bet in the pre-season that Chad Barrett would score 6 goals during the MLS regular season. Many months and thousands of jokes later, Noah was victorious.
Don't look at me, I didn't take him up on it. No, despite the negative attention the UCLA product brings with his questionable touches and sometimes horrific misses, Barrett has been instrumental in helping the LA Galaxy retain the Supporter's Shield.
Does Chad shank a few opportunities now and then? Sure. Now that we're beyond that, his ability to find and attack open space and stretch defenses has added a useful dimension to a Galaxy team loaded with skill and experience but lacking in pace, creating lots of chances for himself and his teammates, even if he hasn't always managed to convert those chances. Additionally, his high work rate yields positive effects all over the field, such as taking pressure off a Galaxy back four that has faced considerable pressure at times.
Maybe it's the incredible run the Galaxy are on this season that's making a cliche out of the phrase "career year" to describe individual player performances, but Chad's 7 goals and 4 assists are both career highs. Also impressively, Chad has become clutch as of late, scoring 3 goals in the past 5 MLS matches, all game winners, and also assisting on the last minute equalizer against Morelia in Concacaf Champions League play.
Unheralded all right.
Though I still say Chad lacks a bit of confidence, as evidenced by his relief-stricken celebrations. (See: Columbus, game winner)
Perhaps he needs to reach out to the fans more? Chad has a Facebook page, but admittedly it's a little bland. Maybe Chad should take up after his more confident teammates on Facebook, like when A.J. makes fun of John the ACB capo or Landon makes birria soup jokes.