CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, January 30, 2013) – Former MLS defender Alex Yi was named head coach of the LA Galaxy Academy’s Under-18 Team, the club has announced. Yi replaces Eddie Soto, who guided the team to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs last year and will remain with the Galaxy Academy as the head coach of the club’s U-15 team. Yi, who has been with the Galaxy’s U-18 team all season long as an assistant, gained a 1-1 result against the Pateadores this past Sunday in his first game as head coach of the team.
A native of Alexandria, Va., Yi inherits a team that has a nearly perfect record of 8-1-2 following Sunday’s game and includes a talented roster led by Galaxy Homegrown Players Jack McBean and Oscar Sorto. The 30-year-old was a member of the inaugural U.S. Soccer U-17 Residency Program, which included DeMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu, among others. He enrolled at UCLA in 2000, but left the school after his sophomore year to start his professional soccer career with Royal Antwerp of the Belgian First Division. He played two seasons in Europe and then signed with FC Dallas prior to the start of the 2005 MLS season. After retiring in 2008, Yi first joined the Galaxy Academy in 2010 as an assistant coach on the U-16 team.
Soto, who is also an assistant coach on UCLA’s men’s soccer team and head coach of the U.S. Beach Soccer team, has been with the Galaxy Academy since 2010. He was an assistant coach on the Galaxy U-16 team before taking the reigns of the Galaxy U-18 team prior to the start of the 2011-12 Development Academy season. Soto guided the Galaxy to their first ever SoCal Division championship and second playoff appearance at the U-18 level last year, but fell short of reaching the Academy Finals as they were eliminated in the Group Stage. He will continue to work with the Galaxy Academy as head coach of the Galaxy U-15 team.
DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY PLAY RESUMES: Nearly eight weeks after their last game, the LA Galaxy Academy Under-16 and Under-18 teams returned to action last weekend and secured a pair of draws against rival Pateadores.
The Galaxy U-18’s improved their record to 8-1-2 with a 1-1 draw on Sunday morning. After falling behind 1-0 in the 30th minute, midfielder Raul Mendiola equalized just before halftime, tying the score at 1-1. Oscar Sorto, who signed with the club in December, started the game and played the entire first half before being replaced by Cameron Marlow. Paul Arriola, who has been training with the Galaxy first team throughout the preseason, also played the first half before being replaced by Lucas DaSilva.
Following that game, the Galaxy U-16’s played to a thrilling 3-3 draw with Pateadores with LA twice overcoming two-goal deficits. Pateadores, which came into the game riding a six-game unbeaten streak, scored twice in the opening 30 minutes to take a 2-0 lead before Christian Chavez pulled a goal back for the Galaxy in the 30th minute. Just before halftime, however, Pateadores struck again to take a 3-1 lead into the break. In the second half, Manuel Padilla and Haji Wright scored in the 50th and 68th minutes, respectively, to earn a point for the Galaxy and improve their record to 2-4-5.
Next up for the U-16 and U-18 Academy teams is an away game at Oak Park High School against Real So Cal on Saturday. The U-18’s kickoff the doubleheader at 11 a.m., followed by the U-16’s at 1:30 p.m.
GALAXY U-13’S AND U-14’S WIN LEGENDS CUP: The LA Galaxy Academy Under-13 and Under-14 teams came away as big winners at the Legends Cup, one of the premier local youth soccer tournaments in the region. Held in Chino, Calif. from Jan. 19-21, three teams from Galaxy Academy participated in the tournament. The Galaxy U-13’s won the championship by beating Pateadores LA 3-0 in the final. The club’s U-14 team won their championship by beating California Odyssey South 3-1. The Galaxy’s other participant in the competition, their U-12 team, lost 1-0 in the semifinals to eventual champion Carlsbad Lighting Premier.
ACADEMY PRODUCT SIGNS PRO CONTRACT IN GUATEMALA: After one season at Cerritos College, former LA Galaxy Academy defender Jeffery Payeras has decided to forgo his college eligibility and turn pro. The 19-year-old signed with CSD Municipal in Guatemala, one of the biggest clubs in that country. Payeras was a member of the 2011-12 Galaxy Academy Under-18 team, appearing in 21 games as the Galaxy won the SoCal Division title. He also played in one Reserve League game with the Galaxy in 2011. At Cerritos College, Payeras started in all 22 games he played in and scored goals and had two assists as the Falcons made it all the way to the CCCAA Championship Playoffs Elite Eight.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
LA Galaxy U-16 vs. Real So Cal Saturday, February 2
Game will be played at Oak Park High at 11 a.m.
LA Galaxy U-18 vs. Real So Cal Saturday, February 2
Game will be played at Oak Park High at 1:30 p.m.
Times and locations for all games are correct as of Tuesday, January 29. Click here for a complete schedule of games in the Southern California Development Soccer League and U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which includes the Galaxy Academy’s U-16 and U-18 teams.