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.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy announced on Thursday that they have signed their latest Homegrown Player, Bradford Jamieson IV.
A Los Angeles native from Culver City, Jamieson is a former U.S. youth international and NSCAA All-American who has scored three goals in 11 appearances for the Galaxy U-18 side during the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy season. Prior to signing with the Galaxy, the 17-year-old had committed to the University of California, Berkeley.
“We are thrilled to add Bradford Jamieson IV to our roster and continue our tradition of signing local players to the Galaxy,” LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said in a club statement. “Bradford is a talented forward who will continue to develop and grow as a player within our system.”
My conversation with Jamieson for LAGalaxy.com is below.
Ahead of the all-important 2014 season, LA Galaxy club President Chris Klein took a moment to speak to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl about the upcoming season, the Galaxy Academy and a number of other topics.
Check out the interview below.
The formation and implications of LA Galaxy’s USL PRO side LA Galaxy II have been at the forefront of the conversation among American soccer circles over the past week.
Whether it was LA Technical Director Jovan Kirovski’s assertion that the project will be duplicated league wide or head coach and general manager Bruce Arena stating that the team will have a chance to close “black hole” that has existed in American player development.
On Friday, new LA Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo joined the conversation with an interview by NASN’s Jason Davis to discuss the project.
During the interview, Onalfo revealed that Galaxy II players will be training as early as Tuesday while also stating that the team will be loaning as many as seven Galaxy first team players to the USL PRO side. Onalfo also mentioned that he opted to for the position with Galaxy II rather than take the head coaching gig with Chivas USA.
Listen to his interview which starts at the 30 minute mark below.
Bruce Arena: LA Galaxy to be "guinea pigs" with USL PRO project as they seek to bridge development "black hole"
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy made MLS history on Wednesday by becoming the first team to operate a lower division club with the foundation of USL PRO side LA Galaxy II, and head coach Bruce Arena fully expects the rest of the league to follow in the club’s footsteps.
On Thursday, USL PRO unveiled the Galaxy II’s schedule for the upcoming 2014 season which will begin with their March 22 match against the Los Angeles Blues. Following LA’s training session, Arena stated that the creation of LA Galaxy II was a necessary step in the development of the American soccer player.
“We’ve lacked the next step for academy players or our players that are just outside of our first team. We’ve had a bit of a black hole in our development. This makes everything more natural,” said Arena on Thursday. “A young player can go from the U-18 to the USL team to the first team for those players that need those steps. That’s a majority of players so it’ll be a benefit for us.”
Arena also cleared up a few logistical questions noting that teams will train separately and that he will have “a lot of freedom” as they loan LA first team players back and forth between Galaxy and Galaxy II.
For all the confidence, Arena admits that the experience won’t be an easy one, but one that the club expects to pay dividends in the future.
“It’s definitely the future,” said Arena. “We’re going to be guinea pigs in the first year, it’s not going to be easy but it’ll be good going forward.”