May 15, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT
Bruce Arena isn’t the type to throw praise around lightly, so when the LA Galaxy general manager and head coach says his new signing can help immediately, you can’t help but wonder what makes the player so special.
For Jacob Trainor, it’s his age – only 15 years old. It’s his ability to come in right away and help down the left. It’s 10 years of experience accumulated at such a young age.
It’s also Trainor’s three-plus year fight against cancer. The Pelham, Ala., native will join the Galaxy as part of his “wish to be a Galaxy teammate,” one that’s being granted by the club and the Make-A-Wish foundation. Expected to train with the team next Tuesday, Train0r will dress for the team’s game against FC Dallas on May 21.
“We are pleased to add Jacob Trainor to our roster,” Arena said in a statement distributed by the team. “Jacob’s experience, dedication and love for soccer are truly inspiring and we believe he will make a great addition to our team.”
More from the Galaxy’s announcement:
The Galaxy teamed up with Make-A-Wish Chapters in Alabama and Greater Los Angeles to grant the wish to Jacob, who was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia on February 8, 2011 and was forced to miss that year’s spring soccer season.
Soccer has been an instrumental part of Jacob’s healing and his love for the game helped Jacob return to the soccer fields soon after he was diagnosed. Given his condition, most ports used to deliver chemotherapy are inserted in the upper chest, just below the clavicle or collar bone, but Jake’s pediatric surgeon suggested a lower area so it would be less likely to be hit by a soccer ball.
The Timbers engaged in a similar endeavor last year, a day that produced one of the 2013 season’s highlights. Next week, the Galaxy will become the latest club to make a young fan’s wish come true when Trainor’s on hand at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
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