Player name: Michael Gallagher
Position: Center back, Midfielder
Last club: Timbers 2
One thing you need to know
Michael Gallagher, James Moberg and Justin Schmidt were all recruited to the University of Washington and joined the squad in the fall of 2012 along with new assistant coach Craig Waibel. Four years later, Gallagher left to join Timbers 2, Moberg left to join Real Monarchs while Schmidt, who had another year of eligibility because of a red shirt year, stayed and joined RSL in 2017.
What he brings to the team
A Washington native from Samammish, Gallagher started in both the defensive midfield and central defense throughout his college career at the University of Washington. The lack of focused position may have contributed to his going undrafted before signing with Timber 2 for the 2016 USL season.
Michael started and played in the defensive line for a full 90 minutes in each of T2’s first 17 matches in 2016. Then after missing a match on July 16th for yellow card accumulation and another 2 full 90 minute games he landed badly on an ankle and left the August 6th match against Los Dos injured. From that time on he struggled with injury and gaining enough fitness to win back his starting position.
Why you should be excited
When healthy Gallagher has proven to be a steady and capable center back at the USL level and should be able to compete for a starting position with Orozco and Moberg. In particular, his two stints in preseason matches with Moberg have both shown a good level of understanding and coordination with the rest of the Monarchs defensive line.
Center back is not an area of great depth on the Monarchs roster, but if and when the injured center backs on the RSL roster begin to mend and look to build fitness the competition for playing time on the Monarchs should be fierce. Schuler, Maund, and Glad may all soon see rehabilitation starts with the Monarchs and then displace others on the RSL game day 18 leaving others seeking playing time and fitness. As a veteran professional, coach Mike Petke should be able to rely upon Gallagher to show a mental toughness and a drive for success and playing time that should serve both RSL and the Monarchs well.
Predictions for 2017
- Gallagher will see 1000 minutes as a center back for the Monarchs.
- Michael will lead the Monarch center backs in shots on goal as he displays his willingness to take a shot.
- Gallagher will struggle with the high elevation of the Monarchs, but giving playing time should come up to full high elevation fitness before the summer arrives.