LA Galaxy U-16's to host Real Salt Lake-AZ U-16's in 2013-14 Development Academy Championships final
The LA Galaxy Under-16's will face the Real Salt Lake-AZ U-16's in the final of the U.S. Development Academy Championships on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. PT the StubHub Center stadium field. Attendance will be free.
LA reached the final after Rey Ortiz notched a hat trick as the Galaxy U-16's defeated Chicago Magic PSG on Thursday at StubHub Center's University Field #1. Meanwhile, RSL marched to the final with a 5-1 victory over Strikers FC. The two teams split the season series with both clubs winning their home matches.
LA Galaxy U-16 head coach Mike Munoz says there's still work to be done ahead of Finals Week after Vardar win
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy Under-16's advanced to the Developmental Academy Finals Week with a 4-2 victory over Michigan-based youth club Vardar on Tuesday in their U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Playoffs quarterfinal at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium.
Ethan Zubak and Rey Ortiz each tallied a brace while Dylan Smith rounded out the scoring in the come-from-behind victory. Zubak scored twice in the first half to put LA ahead, but Vardar clawed their way back into the game and took the lead with three goals at the start of the second half before goals by Ortiz and Smith sealed the win for the Galaxy U-16's.
LA will now participate in the Developmental Academy Finals Week which will be held at StubHub Center at July 17-19.
"It was a fantastic result for the boys because they've worked for 11 months for this moment," Galaxy U-16 head coach Mike Munoz told LA Galaxy Insider. "We knew that Vardar was going to be extremely difficult and they're a team that never gifts up. We lost ourselves for the first 20 minutes of the second half and were punished, but credit to my guys because they found a way to fight back from that. I'm really happy with the way that things turned out, but at the same time, we're going to have to be better going forward."
While there may still be things to work on, Munoz is confident that his Under-16 team can compete for a title during Finals Week.
"It's not easy to get here to be the one of the final four teams in the country," said Munoz. "This is an achievement in itself, but one of our goals is to be national champions and there are still two matches to get there. It's so far so good but we've got another week of training to prepare us and then we need to get after it."
LA Galaxy Academy star Jaime Villarreal has been named to the upcoming U.S. Under-20 National Team camp which will take place from May 17-25 at N.C. State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The camp will be led by U.S. Under-20 assistant and Chicago Fire technical director Brian Bliss, and see the U.S. U-20’s take on the Carolina RailHawks on May 20, the RailHawks U-23 side on May 22 and the Wilmington Hammerheads on May 24.
Villarreal has scored 10 goals in U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy play this season and tallied three times during LA’s participation in Dallas Cup.
Check out the complete roster below.
GOALKEEPERS: Jeff Caldwell (Univ. of Virginia), Evan Louro (New York Red Bulls Academy).
DEFENDERS: Conor Donovan (RailHawks Academy), Caleb Duvernay (RailHawks Academy), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Univ, of Maryland), Miguel Polley (Temple Univ.), Kristoffer Reaves (FC Dallas academy), Robert Sagel (Temple Univ.), Jesus Vazquez (Tigres/MEX), Travis Wannemuehler (N.C. State.).
MIDFIELDERS: Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake AZ), Ian Harkes (Wake Forest Univ.), Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest Univ.), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls academy), Eric Lickert (Freiburg/GER), Alex Muyl (Georgetown Univ.), Adam Najem (Univ. of Akron), Jake Rozhansky (Bethesda-Olney).
FORWARDS: Kainoa Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Louis Bennett (Marquette Univ.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading/ENG), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves), Jaime Villarreal (LA Galaxy Academy), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea)
It was quite a remarkable day for the LA Galaxy Academy.
The LA Galaxy Under-14’s, Under-16’s and Under-18’s all picked up victories against their counterparts from Nomads SC with LA winning the three games by a combined score of 20-0.
LA’s U-18’s opened the afternoon with a 6-0 victory as Adonis Amaya and Jorge Ruiz each tallied a brace while Jaime Villarreal and Hugo Gutierrez rounded out the scoring. The victory moves their record to an impressive 17-5-3 mark for the season.
The Galaxy U-16’s kept up the momentum in the second match as they cruised to a 5-0 victory over Nomads. Dylan Smith scored three goals while Ethan Zubak added a brace of his own in the victory. With their win, the LA U-16’s are 17-2-6 on the year.
In the final match of the evening, the Galaxy U-14’s demolished Nomads SC 9-0 as they improved their record to 15-4-3 this season.
CARSON, Calif. – Haji Wright isn’t the only member of his family that is making waves in international soccer.
Haji’s younger brother Hanif, an LA Galaxy Academy Under-14 scored on Sunday as he helped lead the United States U-15 Boys Team to a 3-2 victory against their counterparts from China PR in their final match of the Torneo delle Nazioni. Wright has been one of the shining stars of the Galaxy U-14 side with 13 goals in 15 games during the U.S. Soccer Development Academy campaign as the team has enjoyed a 13-4-3 record this season.
A video of Hanif Wright’s goal can be seen below.
There was a new face at LA Galaxy training on Tuesday as U.S. Under-17 phenom and Galaxy Academy forward Haji Wright trained with LA's first team.
Wright has been one of the breakout stars of Richie Williams' U.S. U-17 squad over the past six months with his five-goal Golden Boot performance at the Nike International Friendlies and solid two-goal showing during the Aegean Cup in January.
The teenager kept up his scalding form with six goals as the helped lead the U.S. Under-17's to victory in the 2014 Josip Katalinski International Tournament in Bosnia earlier this month. The victory in Bosnia was the Americans third consecutive international tournament title. Wright added another during the Americans two-game series with the Croatian U-17's to give him a total of seven goals during the Americans' Balkans trip.
Haji is not the only talented family member in the Galaxy Academy as his younger brother Hanif is one of the leading goal scorers for the Galaxy Under-14's with 13 goals this season and is one of the leaders of the United States U-15 Boys team.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy Academy split their series with Real Salt Lake-Arizona this weekend.
Christian Chavez and Jorge Ruiz scored for LA's Under-18 side as they picked up a 2-1 victory over RSL-AZ's U-18 squad. Sam Gleadle tallied the lone goal for the RSL youth squad as the Galaxy U-18's moved to a 16-5-3 record for the 2013-14 USSDA campaign.
Although LA's U-18's earned a win against their RSL counterparts, the Galaxy U-16's weren't as lucky as they fell 1-0 to Salt Lake. Tate Schmitt scored the only goal of the match as the Galaxy U-16's fell to 16-2-6 on the season.
Both teams return to action on Saturday, May 10 when they face Nomads SC at StubHub Center's Field 5 at 10:00am.
CARSON, Calif. -- The Villarreal family may have yet another talented son starring for the LA Galaxy soon.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, Galaxy U-18 forward Jaime Villarreal talks about his recent academy success and his older brother -- and LA Galaxy Homegrown Player -- Jose backs him for success. But the elder Villarreal isn't the only player to heap praise on Jaime as his Galaxy Academy and Galaxy II teammate Oscar Sorto is also very high on Jaime.
"I think that he's a good player. He's smart with the ball and playing really well," Sorto told LA Galaxy Insider after training with the U.S. Under-21 team on Tuesday at StubHub Center. "His attitude has changed from when I first met him because he seems to want it more now. He's in shape and taking his soccer more seriously. I think that he has a great future ahead of him."
But does Sorto think that Jaime is a bit better than his older brother?
"I don't know yet. Jose has way more experience right now than Jaime, but you never know. In the future, the younger brother is always stronger," Sorto said with a smile.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy Under-16's earned their first victory at the GA Cup on Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Toronto FC.
Dylan Smith and Jorge Ruiz tallied as the Galaxy U-16's knocked off Toronto FC who had fallen to RSL's U-16 earlier in the week. The Galaxy dropped a 2-0 result to Stoke City on Sunday in their first match of the tournament.
The Galaxy U-16's return to action on Thursday when they face Real Salt Lake at 4:00 pm PT.
CARSON, Calif. – Contests between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA are always heated even at the academy level, but the claims of a Chivas youth coach last week added extra fuel to the fire.
Prior to the Galaxy’s clean sweep of Chivas’ U-14, U-16 and U-18 sides, Rojiblancos U-14 head coach Brian Kleiban told the club’s official website that he turned down the same gig with LA to replace the departed Greg Vanney who left to lead the Toronto FC Academy. Kleiban’s side suffered the widest margin of defeat as LA’s U-14’s defeated Chivas 4-0 on Saturday.
Following the match, I spoke to Galaxy Academy Director Peter Vagenas about the results at each age level and the “collaborative” effort ongoing between himself and coaches Mike Munoz and Ante Razov to lead the team in a piece on LAGalaxy.com. Vagenas later elaborated on the search for what he describes as one of the Academy’s most vital posts.
“I assure you that I’ve done my due diligence and I’ve spoken to many different people about the possibilities of working with the team. That being said, there’s been a long list of candidates and it’s not something that I take lightly,” Vagenas told LA Galaxy Insider. “I can make an argument that it is as important of an Academy position as there is. In that sense, I’m going through and continuing to make sure that we find the right person.
“I will continue to do so, but I have not yet found the right person,” added Vagenas. “We have unique and high standards for all our coaches in the academy and rather than force a square peg into a round hole, I’d rather exhaust all my options and make sure that we get the right individual to lead our young men.”