Let’s get this out of the way now, because we know it’s coming.
[Insert obligatory “its only preseason” remark here].
We get it. In the end, what happens in these matches and the scoreline, don't really matter. At the same time, it matters a lot in terms of building all the intangibles that go with a successful team, like chemistry, confidence, and establishing yourselves as a team to be reckoned with come season kickoff.
One player who’s looked extremely confident this preseason has been French forward Kévin Cabral. His arrival last year came with expectations, and when he struggled to meet those immediately, he became a lightning rod when it came to public opinion. Many were already willing to cut him loose, or see him on the bench, while others understood it takes time to settle into a new league, and new team. Both sides however, agreed this year would be a pivotal one for the youngster, as he looked to take a big step forward in year two with the Galaxy.
While it may only be the preseason, Cabral has started 2022 with purpose, and put on a show in the team's first match of the season played in front of the fans. Earlier in the week, head coach Greg Vanney mentioned the need for Cabral to be more clinical in year two. Putting away the chances he had, as well as putting himself in more threatening positions in front of goal, both of which Cabral has shown in bunches early on this preseason.
“Scoring goals is about confidence, it’s about taking a risk a little bit” said Vanney when asked about the Frenchman’s performance, after he scored two goals. “The run he made on the first goal was an excellent run, really well timed. There was a number of actions where he was playing as a winger, but he was in front of the goal, he was goal-dangerous. We didn't see that a lot last year when he was playing on the wings. Again, goalscoring is about confidence and for him to get a couple goals to start that way, is really good for him.”
Vanney may refer to the preseason as “an exercise” but it does set the tone. The Galaxy struggled to find the back of the net a lot last season, especially down the stretch when it mattered most. Finding consistency, and scoring often, albeit in the preseason, is still worth talking about. If the saying is, begin as you mean to go, then this team clearly means to go deep into the postseason this time around. For Cabral, he means to make you put some respect on his name, as well as cement himself in the starting XI. It may just be an exhibition, but they could be bad in these tune-ups and score nothing. The fact they've looked so good, and more importantly, have looked consistent, is cause for optimism.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!