While the offseason has officially begun for the LA Galaxy first team, the Galaxy Academy teams have continued their U.S. Soccer Development Academy seasons this week in Arizona at the annual Winter Showcase. Featuring all 78 teams that make up the Development Academy at both U-16 and U-18 levels, the Showcase is being held at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, the same site at which the Galaxy defeated Kansas City 1-0 in a preseason game last February.
The Galaxy Academy opened the Showcase on Saturday afternoon with the U-18’s falling 4-2 to Andromeda. After allowing two goals in the opening 11 minutes, Eric Verso scored the Galaxy’s opening goal just before halftime, heading home an Angel Ayala freekick to cut the his team’s deficit to 2-1. Ayala added a goal for himself in the second half, but it was not enough as the Galaxy fell 4-2.
The U-18’s played that game without U.S. Under-18 National Team midfielder Riley Wolfe, who was playing in a Development Academy Select game, which featured some of the nation’s top players at the U-18 level. Wolfe played the opening half of that game as his team scored three times in the opening 30 minutes en route to a 3-0 victory.
The Galaxy were also represented in the U-16 Select game, with Justin Dhillon and Jack McBean each in action, though on different teams. In that game, McBean scored the game’s opening goal early in the second half, helping his team earn a 2-1 win over Dhillon’s squad. Dhillon played the full 90 minutes up front for his team in that game, while McBean came on as a halftime substitute.
Despite playing without that duo, the U-16’s claimed a 2-0 win over Andromeda on Saturday in their opening game with William Raygoza and Chris Antunez scoring a minute apart early in the second half. Josh McNeely played the full 80 minutes in goal for LA, who improved to 8-0-1 on the season with the win, keeping five clean sheets in their nine games while scoring two or more in seven of them.
The Galaxy Academy teams are back in action this afternoon when they take on South Carolina United FC at 1:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. They round out their Winter Showcase schedule on Tuesday against Birmingham United from Alabama, with both the U-16 and U-18 games beginning at 9 a.m.
--- LA Galaxy Youth Academy presented by adidas ---
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