LA Galaxy Academy Weekly Update: June 8

LA Galaxy Academy Teams Finish Regular Season As SoCal Division Champions

CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, June 7, 2012) – The LA Galaxy U-16 and U-18 teams have something in common this season: Both teams finished the U.S. Soccer Development Academy regular season as SoCal Division champions. This is the first time in club history both clubs have won the SoCal Division in the same season.

The draw for the 2012 playoffs has not been held yet, it will occur in the near future, but both Galaxy teams will go into the playoffs as top seeds as a result of winning their division title. This season, the playoffs will be held in Dallas from June 25-29. The finals will be held in Houston.

For the Galaxy U-16 team, who won the U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship last season, this will be their second consecutive season taking part in the playoffs, but first under Head Coach Craig Harrington, who replaced Kenny Arena midway through the season. The squad finished the season on an 18-game unbeaten streak and with a near-perfect record of 11-1-4 in their division and an overall record of 17-3-7. Their 58 points in all competitions are the third most in the nation while their 74 goals scored and goal difference of plus-39 are second in the nation. Most of LA’s scoring output came from forwards Justin Dhillon, who led the team in scoring 20 goals, and Jaime Villarreal, who finished the season with 18.

For the Galaxy U-18 team, which is comprised heavily of players from last year’s U-16 championship team, it’s a return to the playoffs after missing out on the postseason last year. Second-year head coach Eddie Soto navigated his squad to an almost perfect season with a 20-4-3 record. Their 20 wins, 75 goals scored and goal-difference of plus-51 are the second best in the nation. They were led in goals by Drew Murphy, who scored a team-high 11 times, and Sebastian Velasquez, who finished second with eight, while the defense was anchored by goalkeeper Juan Cervantes, who helped the club finish the regular season with 10 shutouts.

VERGARA HELPS U.S. FINISH FIFTH IN HOLLAND: LA Galaxy U-14 forward Alejandro Vergara helped the U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team finish fifth in the 23rd International Marveld Tournament in Groenlo, Holland. The U.S., which played against Ajax, Fayenoord, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Twente and Real Madrid in Group play, beat Ajax 4-2 on penalty kicks in the match for Fifth Place. Bayer Leverkusen beat Manchester United in the finals, 4-0.

GALAXY U-12 TEAM GEARS UP FOR REGIONALS: In two weeks time, the LA Galaxy U-12’s will travel to Phoenix, Ariz., to compete in the US Youth Far West Regionals, which kickoff on June 18. The Galaxy advanced to the weeklong tournament by winning the CAL South National Cup in March. At stake in Arizona is a ticket to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, which are set to be played July 25-29 in Rock Hill, S.C.

MATCH RECAPS

LA Galaxy U-16’s 2, Nomads SC 0
Saturday, June 2
The Home Depot Center – Field 5

The Galaxy U-16’s will head into the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs with an 18-game unbeaten streak after closing out the regular season with a 2-0 win over Nomads SC. One week after clinching the SoCal Division title, the club went in front after just two minutes and kept their 11th clean sheet of the season to earn the victory. Chris Costantini gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead in the second minute with his first goal of the season before Steve Martinez completed the win with a 61st minute strike. The goalkeeper duo of Grayson Cornwell, who got the start in place of the suspended Daniil Slepuhkin, and Michael Suchy, who came on in the 74th minute to make his Development Academy debut, got the shutout for the Galaxy who have not lost since December 5, 2011.

LA Galaxy U-18’s 5, Nomads SC 0
Saturday, June 2
The Home Depot Center – Field 5

The Galaxy U-18’s clinched the first SoCal Division title in club history with an emphatic 5-0 win over Nomads SC at The Home Depot Center. Needing a win to be assured of the Division title, the Galaxy took a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute thanks to a Rolando Muñoz goal. Justin Dhillon doubled the LA lead on the stroke of halftime, giving his team a 2-0 lead heading into the final 45 minutes of the regular season. Dhillon added his second of the game, and his sixth in his last five Academy games, in the 76th minute to extend the Galaxy lead to 3-0. Jose Rivera and Pedro Lugo each scored their second goal of the season late in the second half to complete the rout. Goalkeepers Juan Cervantes and Steven Barrera combined for the shutout, the 10th of the season for the Galaxy, who led the division with fewest goals allowed and a goal-difference of plus-51.

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