Two finalists in the LA Galaxy X Factor trial extravaganza

Ollie Irish

15th, February 2007

Laurent_merlin_1 Remember LA Galaxy’s open trials to fund David Beckham’s wages with money paid by deluded twentysomethings attract new talent to the club? Well, as if the Beckham media circus wasn’t enough reality TV for the club they now seem to be setting up an X Factor/American Idol-style showdown.

The 800 hopefuls have been whittled down to just two. The remaining participants are 24-year-old Portuguese midfielder Rui Fortes and 22-year-old attacking midfielder Laurent Merlin (pictured), from France. Both have been on further one-week trials this week. Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas, the ginger Simon Cowell, said: "Merlin and Fortes are raw but they showed some potential, and therefore their adventure will continue."

Two finalists in the LA Galaxy X Factor trial extravaganza continued

Fortes has played in the USA for four years with the Rhode Island Stingrays. Merlin is a former French youth international and a product of Marseille’s youth system. He has also spent time with AC Ajaccio on Corsica, and latterly Ligue 2 team Chateauroux. [VIa The Offside]

[Rob Parker]

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