Daniel Steres is one of those stories that movies are built around. He was a huge prospect coming out of college, but never picked up a contract with Chivas. Seattle picked him up but he never made an appearance. Trips to the USL gave way to a return to his hometown at LA Galaxy II.
However, when speaking with Steres prior to his big promotion, he was very clear that he knew he was capable of so much more. He just hadn’t been given the chance.
It was just a couple months later that he earned the call up to the LA Galaxy and, just like that, he is a bonafide starter. While fortune had denied his rise for so long, it finally stepped in and delivered him an opportunity, which he then grasped with both hands and refused to let go. Plus, scoring the Galaxy’s first goal of the season definitely helped.
Now, Steres is having one of the better defensive years in MLS as his partnership with Jelle Van Damme continues to blossom. Statistically, there is no separating the two center backs. They both play a very proactive style and average three interceptions each per appearance as well as five clearances. Steres takes the cake in aerial domination, however, as he leads the team with three won per match.
The LA Galaxy are known for their star power. With an offensive force that includes Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Giovanni Dos Santos and Steven Gerrard, it’s easy to see who the faces of the team are. Defensively, Nigel De Jong, Ashley Cole and Van Damme boast the same notoriety.
Yet Steres was given a chance and he has stuck in a team that is star studded to the max. Think of it like a typical good guy story. From disappointment, he rose up to take a spot on a team that was built through big signings. Being a home town guy, that sensation will never be lost. He plays in front of his family and friends every single home game.
There aren’t many European outlets where stories like this can be found. Big name signings dominate from touchline to touchline. It’s inspiring to see that there will always be room for hometown breakthroughs in leagues like MLS.
The Galaxy have quietly established themselves as one of the best defenses in the United States. Just eight goals surrendered in eight matches. It is something to be quite proud of. And Steres has been a key piece of that.