Encuentra la historia en Espanol aqui.
Former Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder and Vice President of Soccer Operations Pete Vagenas once said that the Galaxy reflected the community in which it played.
With African-Americans making up almost 10% of Los Angeles county’s resident population, it makes sense that the Galaxy has taken the opportunity of it being Black History Month to highlight black excellence and black-owned businesses in the area. It also makes sense that the club has had its share of a star or highly influential black player.
From Ezra Hendrickson to Ashley Cole to Edson Buddle, black excellence has indeed been present throughout the Galaxy’s storied history.
In its founding year alone, LA can boast of having had three club legends in the same team.
Eduardo “El Tanque” Hurtado played 50 games for the Galaxy, scoring 30 goals and assisting 11 times. The team’s first leading goal scorer, El Tanque, was a forward well known for combining sheer power with balletic grace.
The Afro-Latino from Esmeraldas, Ecuador, wrote his name into Galaxy history when he scored a beautiful header in the 1996 MLS Cup.
If Hurtado’s goals wrote the headlines, then Robin Fraser’s defense won games.
Fraser was the Galaxy’s first-ever selection in the draft (4th), won MLS best XI honors four times while with the club, and picked up the MLS’ Defender of the Year award in 1999. To say he was a rock in the Galaxy backline for five seasons could be an understatement.
On December 10, 2020, Fraser was honored as one of The 25 Greatest Players in MLS history.
Fraser’s teammate and another member of The 25 Greatest players club, Cobi Jones, is revered in Galaxy folklore.
A one-club man, he was a constant dreadlocked blur along the right-wing for 11 years, appearing more than 300 times for the team and winning two MLS Cups. For some older Galaxy fans, Jones’s smile might be the first thing they associate with the club. Newer fans have gotten to enjoy him alongside Joe Tutino doing color commentary for Galaxy games since 2013.
Now ever-present in the press box, Jones is helping to highlight the current Galaxy players hoping to become club legends like him. Fan favorite and current Galaxy captain Jona Dos Santos made huge strides to become a club legend himself upon beating the crest and declaring, “This is LA, LA is ours,” after a thrilling El Trafico victory over LAFC. The son of former Brazilian great Zizinho, Dos Santos is proudly Afro-Mexican.
Jona is expected to, once again, be the midfield general and one of the most important players for the Galaxy this season. If he controls the midfield, as he has the ability to do, the Galaxy will be successful. Jona’s leadership and experience will surely be needed, especially with a roster largely built on youth.
It will be one of his main jobs to mentor the younger players and teach them what it means to represent the Galaxy.
Hopefully, 18-year-old Galaxy academy product and Carson native Cameron Dunbar is committing these lessons to memory.
Having appeared four times for Los Angeles so far, Dunbar and his family stole Galaxy fandom hearts with an adorable video upon his debut against Portland.
A forward with plenty of pace, if not for the post, Dunbar would have scored his first goal for the club against LAFC on his next appearance.
With Dos Santos at the club, Dunbar learning from him, and our storied history as an example, fans can rest assured that the tradition of Black excellence at the Galaxy will continue and flourish.
Featured Image: lambdachialpha