LA Galaxy Academy Teams Are In Sarasota, Fla. to take part in 2011 Development Academy Winter Showcase

Club looking to continue strong start to 2011/2012 Academy Season

LA Galaxy fans became confused when they spotted players in Galaxy-branded team gear at LAX this morning.

“Was that the first team?”

“Where’s Beckham?”

No, it was not the first team.

David Beckham and the rest of the LA Galaxy were in the Philippines today, where they will take on the Philippine National Team Saturday (3:30am PT, FOX Soccer) in the second leg of the Galaxy Asia Pacific Tour, presented by Herbalife.

What Galaxy fans saw were the club’s Under-16 and Under-18 teams getting ready to board a flight to Sarasota, Fla. to take part in the 2011 Development Academy Winter Showcase. While in Florida, the club will play in a total of six games, as well as have five of its players take part in the Development Academy Select Teams games.

The Galaxy are in a great position heading into the showcase, which will see all 78 Academy teams participate in three non-Conference games each. For starters, the Galaxy U-18 team is undefeated after four games with a perfect record of 4-0-0. Led by Pedro Velasquez and Sebastian Velasquez and a defense that’s only given up two goals so far, Head Coach Eddie Soto’s squad will begin showcase play against the Clearwater Chargers on Friday at 2 p.m. The team will then face the Texans SC Houston on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. and Concorde Fire on Sunday at 9 a.m. to close out the weekend.

Led by Justin Dhillon, Mario Ortiz and Jaime Villareal, the Galaxy U-16 is off to a great start as well. They are 3-1-0 and currently sitting third in the SoCal Division standings, four points behind the San Diego Surf, which has already played seven games compared to Galaxy’s four. Head Coach Kenny Arena’s squad will also begin their participation in the showcase against the Clearwater Chargers on Friday at 11 a.m. Their next two games will also be against the Texans SC Houston and Concorde Fire, on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m., respectively.

The Galaxy Academy teams were rewarded for their fantastic start by having five of its players selected to represent the club in the Development Academy Select Team games, the most of any club in the Academy Showcase. The Select Teams are All-Star teams, of sorts, that were chosen by the U.S. Soccer Technical Staff. 78 players were selected in total, they will be divided into four teams— two teams made up of players born in 1995 and two teams made up of players born in 1996— and compete in two games on Saturday. The players born in 1995 will play at 2 p.m., while the players born in 1996 will face off at 4 p.m. The players chosen from the Galaxy were: forward Justin Dhillon (1995 Red Select Team), midfielder Rolando Muñoz (1996 Red Select Team), defender Manny Padilla (1996 Blue Select Team), midfielder William Raygoza (1995 Red Select Team) and forward Jaime Villareal (1995 Blue Select Team).

For more information about the 2011 Development Academy Winter Showcase, up-to-date information can be found at the 2011 Winter Showcase homepage at ussoccer.com.