The LA Galaxy’s U-16 and U-18 teams only lost one game between them during group play of the US Soccer Development Academy playoffs. That was not, however, enough for either team to advance to the finals week.
Broken up into eight groups of four teams, only the group winners advanced out of the initial stage. Both Galaxy teams had the chance to advance on the day of their final match, but the necessary results didn’t turn up for either.
Head Coach Eddie Soto’s U-18’s could not have started the tournament better, beating Vardar SC Freiburg 5-1 on the tournament’s opening day. The goal didn’t come as easily the next day, however, as the U-18’s were shut out, 1-0 by De Anza Force on Tuesday. The Galaxy needed to win their final game and hope for a misstep by De Anza to move on, but neither materialized, with LA drawing 1-1 to CASL Chelsea FC and De Anza beating Vardar on the final day. Thursday’s results meant that the De Anza went through as group winners and the Galaxy U-18’s saw their season come to an end.
Looking to defend their 2011 US Development Academy playoff championship, the Galaxy U-16 side took points from each of its three games this week, but could not move on. The U-16’s opened with a pair of draws in their first two games, 2-2 against Colorado Rush on Tuesday and 1-1 against DC United on Wednesday. Two points from the first two games meant that the Galaxy needed a win in Friday’s final game, as well as hope for a DC United loss. Head Coach Craig Harrington’s Galaxy U-16’s did their part, beating Concorde Fire 4-3, but DC United won as well, taking the group, knocking out the Galaxy and insuring that there will be a new U-16 Champion in 2012.