Galaxy Media Profiles: Jamie Pham

For my second installment in “Galaxy Media Profiles,” I sat down with Jamie Pham, a Galaxy columnist at Soccer New Daily.


Sean: Let’s start at the beginning. I’ve read you were a former tour manager for “Steel Train” and “Madina Lake”. How in the world did you go from that to covering the LA Galaxy?

Jamie: I had been touring full time for about five years before I got “burnt out” and wanted to be at home. I had missed every holiday you could imagine not to mention my friend’s and family’s birthdays/anniversary/etc.  While I was home, I had some money saved up so I didn’t have to find a job right away so I wanted to do something I had been wanting to do for a while now and that was to start a Sports Blog.


Sean: Have you always been a soccer fan?

Jamie: To be honest, no. It’s funny because a lot of my friends are soccer fans and I used to make fun of them years ago because all they did was talk about soccer. And now, all I do is talk about soccer with whoever that will listen to me. I played soccer in elementary school but didn’t really start to follow soccer until 2010 on my first European tour. The band I worked for are huge soccer fans (two of them played in college and in Italy). We also had the chance of attending a Sheffield Wednesday v Bristol City game as well and I really liked the atmosphere.


Sean: When did you first start following the Galaxy?

Jamie: I didn’t really get into the team until the end of the 2012 season (I know, I’m a late bloomer). I started to go to games by myself and was hooked so I got season tickets for the 2013 season.


Sean: For those who don’t know, where can Galaxy fans find your articles?


Sean: How active are you on twitter? How important of a tool is twitter for a writer such as yourself?

Jamie: I used to be more active a few years ago but as time went on, I stopped because I didn’t want to fill my timeline with pointless tweets. It really does get annoying after a while when you see people posting pictures of their food or how “perfect” their lives are.

These days, Twitter is my number one place to get news. People break news on Twitter and it’s so easy to see a story develop especially with teams in Europe. For example, I don’t really follow La Liga teams or writers but when Victor Valdes went down with his injury, I kept checking Twitter to keep myself updated on his situation.


Sean: Have you ever tailgated with any of the supporter groups or shared drinks with them at the bar after the game?

Jamie: Yes, a few times. A few of my friends are huge supporters of the team so we hang out and talk about the Galaxy all the time. There are times when I’m in the press box where I’ll wish I was sitting in the stands, cheering and chanting with everyone else.


Sean: On any given Saturday, how much MLS do you find yourself watching?

Jamie: I try to watch every game. I have a MLS subscription so I’ll watch the condensed match replays if I don’t have time to watch the whole game. MLS also uploads 8-10 minute highlights of every game to Youtube as well. I like to keep track of what is going on with each game/team so I am prepared for the next time the Galaxy faces them.


Sean: What are your thoughts on the team this year?

Jamie: I have mixed feelings from the five games in eight weeks so far. Offensively, it’s been great with the new additions of Rob Friend, Stefan Ishizaki, and Baggio Husidic.

Defensively, we’ve been a little weak with the Leonardo/Gonzalez pairing. The early injuries to James Riley and Todd Dunivant doesn’t help either.


Sean: Which new signings have impressed you the most?

Jamie: It’s gotta be Stefan Ishizaki. He’s already has two goals and two assists in five games. The Galaxy has scored seven goals so far this season and he’s been involved with four of them. This just shows you how smart Bruce Arena is and you need to put your trust in him.


Sean: What are your thoughts on the new formation?

Jamie: I had my doubts at first because of the change from the normal 4-4-2 but like I said, you just need to put your trust in Arena.


Sean: Do you think this team has improved enough to win MLS Cup and possibly make a run at the Supporters Shield?

Jamie: I think they can compete for another MLS cup, for sure. They have players with the experience that can take them pretty far in the playoffs. I’m just worried about losing Donovan and Gonzalez for the World Cup especially with the weak defense I talked about earlier.

As for the Supporters Shield, I’m not sure if the Galaxy can win it since there are so many teams like the Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas, and Columbus Crew who are off to a great start but you never know in this league.


Sean: Do you think Omar Gonzalez will leave after the World Cup? If so, do you think the Galaxy will land a big name summer DP signing?

Jamie: I’ve always thought he would leave after the World Cup especially with the European leagues starting at the end of summer. I think his performance in the World Cup would dictate if he will leave or not because I doubt the Galaxy would sell him just to free up a DP spot. If Gonzalez does go, I have no doubt they will shell out for another big signing whoever that may be.


Sean: How would you assess the general trajectory of the league as a whole? Think things are moving in the right direction?

I was part of the group that was happy when Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley decided to come to MLS because it meant I got to see them play. I agree that MLS isn’t on par with some of the European leagues but MLS is not that far behind. People forget that Landon Donovan, the greatest American player, spent a majority of his career here and it hasn’t hurt him. If the league is as bad as some people say it is, then all the top strikers like Robbie Keane, Donovan, and Dempsey wouldn’t have a problem scoring 25+ goals a season but that doesn’t happen.

The next big thing that needs to happen is obviously the salary cap because the league minimum is still really low. The players are risking injury every time they step on the field and they don’t have the financial support to fall back on like the DPs do if they suffer a season long or career ending injury. In Europe, players make more than the team staff and over here, some staff members make money more than the players.


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