LA Galaxy Academy Update: March 7

Craig Harrington Takes Over the LA Galaxy U-16 Team; Kenny Arena departs

CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, March 7, 2012) – Craig Harrington has been appointed head coach of the Galaxy Academy U-16 team by LA Galaxy Vice President Chris Klein. Harrington, who had been in charge of the Galaxy's U-13 and U-14 teams, inherits a team that's fighting for a spot in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs.

A native of Carterton, England, Harrington is a former youth player at Swindon Town and Oxford United. Prior to joining the Galaxy in 2010, he spent six years as Director of Coaching at the Newport Mesa Club and Technical Director at the Tustin Premier Soccer Club. He also spent two years as an assistant coach at Santiago Community College.

Kenny Arena, who coached the U-16 team to the USSDA National Championship last season, was hired by Florida International University to coach their Men's Soccer team last week. Arena, a former MLS player and the son LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, was head coach of the U-16 team from 2019-2012, compiling a record of 40-19-13, in USSDA play.

Former FC Dallas midfielder Alex Yi will remain with the U-16 team as assistant coach.

Replacing Harrington as head coach of the U-14 and U-15 teams is former MLS defender Gordon Kljestan. A native of Huntington Beach, Calif., Kljestan played with the LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls, as well as the Cleveland City Stars and FC Tampa Bay of the USSF Division 2, before retiring in 2011 to join the Galaxy Academy as assistant coach of the U-14 and U-15 teams.

Additionally, former Dallas Burn midfielder Ted Eck has been hired as head coach of the U-12 team and Braeden Cloutier has been hired as head coach of the U-13. Eck, a native of Springfield, Illinois, played for various teams in the MISL and CSL. He earned 13 caps with the U.S. National Team before retiring from professional soccer in 2001. Cloutier, a former MLS and MISL midfielder, began his professional in 1992 with Hamburg SV in Germany. During his 17-year professional career, he played in MLS for the New York MetroStars, San Jose Earthquakes and New England Revolution and with the San Diego Sockers, Wichita Wings and Cleveland Force in the MISL before he retired in 2009.

Harrington's first game as head coach of the U-16's will be next weekend, when the Galaxy host the San Jose Earthquakes on March 17. The game, which will kick off at 12:30 p.m., will be played at The Home Depot Center on University Field 2.

The Galaxy (8-3-4 overall, 5-1-2 division) are currently in second place in the SoCal Division standings, one point behind Real Salt Lake-Arizona, whom the Galaxy will face twice in the month of April.

ROMERO AND VERGARA CALLED UP BY US YOUTH TEAMS: Two LA Galaxy Academy players were called up by U.S. Soccer on Monday to take part in week-long camp being held at The Home Depot Center this week. Galaxy U-14 goalkeeper Abraham Romero (Altadena, Calif.), will be one of 36 players training with the U.S. U-14 National Team under the tutelage of head coach Hugo Perez. Additionally, Galaxy U-15 forward Alejandro Vergara (Long Beach, Calif.), will train with the U.S. U-15 National Team, which is coached by Tony Lepore. During the camp, each team is scheduled to play four scrimmages, including one game each against Galaxy Academy teams.

GALAXY U-12 AND U-13 OPEN TRYOUTS: On March 17-18 at The Home Depot Center, the LA Galaxy are holding open tryouts for the U-12 and U-13 teams, which is made up of players born between 1999-2002. Tryout registration is now closed, but interested participants can register for a waiting list at /academy/tryouts.

While the tryouts are open, all interested participants must be currently living within the Galaxy’s MLS-allocated home-grown territory of a 75-mile radius from The Home Depot Center.

MATCH RECAPS

LA Galaxy U-18’s 2, Pateadores 0                    Saturday, February 25             The Home Depot Center

Jaime Villarreal (Inglewood, Calif.) scored two goals to help the LA Galaxy U-18 team beat Pateadores 2-0 at The Home Depot Center. After putting together a dominating first half performance that resulted in zero goals, the Galaxy found the back of the net twice in the second half. Jaime Villarreal, the younger brother of current first team player Jose Villarreal, put the Galaxy on the scoreboard in the 64th minute with a hard right-footed blast from 25 yards out. Less than 10 minutes later, Villarreal struck again, doubling the Galaxy lead to 2-0. After a beautiful build up, he found him self in a one-on-one situation with the Pateadores goalkeeper and calmly slotted the ball past him to make it 2-0. Sebastian Velasquez (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Willie Raygoza (El Monte, Calif.) each recorded and assist in the victory. With the win, the Galaxy improved their record to 11-1-3 in all competitions and 6-1-1 in the SoCal Division. The club, currently in second place in the division standings, has scored 35 goals and given up only 10 for a goal differential of +25, which is the third-best in the Development Academy at the U-18 level. The Galaxy are back in action on Saturday, March 17 when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center.

LA Galaxy U-16’s 2, Pateadores 0                    Saturday, February 25             The Home Depot Center

As was the case with the U-18 team, the LA Galaxy U-16’s beat Pateadores 2-0, at The Home Depot Center. Kevin Labastida (Riverside, Calif.) and Justin Dhillon (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) each scored a goal as the club extended their unbeaten streak to six games. With the win, the Galaxy U-16’s improved their record to 8-3-4 in all competitions and 5-1-2 in the SoCal Division. They are back in action on Saturday, March 17 when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center.

THE WEEK AHEAD

 

Game                                                                     Date

LA Galaxy U-18 vs. L.A. Blues (friendly)                     Saturday, March 10
Game will be played at Cerritos College at 2 p.m.

Times and locations for all games are correct as of Tuesday, March 6. Click here for a complete schedule of games in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which includes the Galaxy Academy’s U-16 and U-18 teams.