LA Galaxy announce USL PRO team LA Galaxy II
CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, January 29, 2014) – The LA Galaxy announced today that the club has formed LA Galaxy II, a professional team that will compete in USL PRO, a division of U.S. Soccer below Major League Soccer. The LA Galaxy are the first Major League Soccer club to own and operate a lower division professional team within the club’s player development structure. Curt Onalfo has been promoted and named the head coach of LA Galaxy II and will be charged with leading the USL PRO side and developing players for the LA Galaxy first team. LA Galaxy II, presented by Herbalife, will train and play all of its home matches at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
“The LA Galaxy are taking a monumental step for player development in North America,” said Galaxy President Chris Klein. “The creation of LA Galaxy II, through USL PRO, provides the Galaxy with a fully realized player development program starting with the Under-12 Academy teams through the LA Galaxy first team. The investment of AEG and the Galaxy in LA Galaxy II allows us to continue to develop the best players in Southern California and lessen the gap between the Academy and the LA Galaxy.”
A first of its kind program in MLS, LA Galaxy II will provide playing time and development opportunities for players within the LA Galaxy player development structure. The USL PRO side offers a 28-game season and will feature LA Galaxy first team players, players signed by Galaxy II and LA Galaxy Academy players.
“We are thrilled to welcome LA Galaxy II into USL PRO as our newest expansion club,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “Entering the second season of our partnership with Major League Soccer, the addition of LA Galaxy II into our competition is an exciting development for all the league’s stakeholders and fortifies our continued efforts to remain the strongest league below and in support of MLS on and off the field. It is particularly fitting that the LA Galaxy, one of Major League Soccer’s true groundbreakers and pioneers across so many different fronts during the past two decades, are now the first to fully embrace the value and potential of placing a team in USL PRO.”
LA Galaxy II Season Ticket Memberships will be added as a benefit that is included with the purchase of all LA Galaxy official supporter Season Ticket Member plans. For all other fans, LA Galaxy II Season Ticket Memberships begin at just $72 for all 14 regular season home games. Group and single game tickets will go on sale to the general public on February 18. For more information on LA Galaxy or LA Galaxy II memberships, visit www.lagalaxy.com or call 877-3GALAXY (342-5299).
Onalfo, a former MLS player and Galaxy assistant coach since 2011, will head up LA Galaxy II. While serving as an assistant coach under Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, Onalfo helped lead the Galaxy Reserves to back-to-back MLS Reserve League West Division titles in addition to winning MLS Cup in 2011 and 2012. The 44-year-old played for Arena at the University of Virginia and with D.C. United in 1998 and then served as his assistant coach with the U.S. National Team for four years, including at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Onalfo got his first head coaching job in MLS in November 2006 when he was hired by the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City). Onalfo spent two-and-a-half seasons in Kansas City, leading the team to the postseason twice. He had a 27-29-22 record in his time with Kansas City before leaving the club in August 2009. In December 2009, he was named as D.C. United’s head coach and held that position for eight months before leaving the club in August. Onalfo played four years of college soccer at Virginia, before being drafted by the Galaxy in the inaugural MLS Player Draft. Onalfo spent one season with the club before being traded to San Jose in 1997. A year later, he joined D.C. United, helping the club win the 1998 InterAmerican Cup, as well as the 1999 MLS Cup and CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.
“I’m honored to be named the head coach of LA Galaxy II,” said Onalfo. “I’m excited to be provided with the opportunity to coach and develop young players within the Galaxy system and compete for a USL PRO championship.”
Technical Director Jovan Kirovski, Director of Soccer Operations David Kammarman and Onalfo will begin the process of building the LA Galaxy II team immediately. As part of the relationship between LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II, any number of first team LA Galaxy players are available for loan to the USL PRO side. In addition, Galaxy II may utilize Galaxy Academy players for training and on game days with Academy products retaining their amateur status.
“LA Galaxy II gives our young players, both in the academy and on the first team, additional playing time and opportunities to grow as players,” said Kirovski. “We see this as a pioneering effort in player development in North America and something that will advance our club on the field and in the community.”
USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). Focused on league stability and franchise performance longevity, USL PRO features 14 teams, including announced 2014 expansion teams in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Through aggressive and deliberate growth in adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and U.S. Soccer standards, USL PRO is building a robust, national professional soccer league in a format that promotes the benefits of regional league play. In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is the longest-standing pro league affiliate member of US Soccer.