CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, February 6, 2013) – Seven LA Galaxy Academy players will sign their Letter of Intent to play college soccer for Division I schools on National Signing Day. Held on the first Wednesday of February every year, National Signing Day is the first day on which athletes can officially sign their letters with the school of their choice.
The seven players from the club’s current Under-18 roster that will submit their letters today are:
Paul Arriola (UCLA), Justin Dhillon (Cal Poly), Josh McNeely (UC Santa Barbara), Drew Murphy (UC Santa Barbara), Willie Raygoza (UCLA), Vincent Reyes (Florida International University) and Nathan Smith (UCLA).
The seven players have helped the Galaxy Academy U-18’s get off to an 8-2-2 start to the 2012/13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. Dhillon is tied for the team-lead with five goals while Arriola, in his first season with the club, is tied for fourth with two. Murphy led the team in goals last year with 11 goals and has starred as the team captain this season, playing a more defensive role this season alongside Raygoza in the midfield.
Smith, who played for the U.S. Under-17 National Team at the 2011 U-17 World Cup in Mexico, has made nine appearances for the Galaxy this season while Reyes, who also plays in defense, has made eight appearances for the club. He will attend Florida International University, who are coached by former Galaxy U-16 head coach Kenny Arena.
McNeely, who has appeared in and started six games in goal for LA this season, rounds out the college bound group.
All seven players will continue to play for the Galaxy U-18’s until the conclusion of the Development Academy season before they enroll at their college in the Fall. Led by former FC Dallas defender Alex Yi, the U-18’s play their next game this weekend against the San Juan Soccer Club in Mather, Calif.
GALAXY U-18’S FALL TO REAL SO CAL: The LA Galaxy U-18’s suffered their second loss of the season last Saturday, falling 1-0 away from home against Real So Cal. Playing without five of their regular starters, including four of their top scorers, the Galaxy were in a position to earn a point from the game until Real’s Mark Verso scored the game-winner in the 81st minute.
The Galaxy (8-2-2 overall), who have three games in-hand on first place RSL-Arizona (10-2-3 overall), will ply each of their next three games on the road, traveling to Northern California this weekend to face San Juan Soccer Club and then travelling to the Pacific Northwest a week later for games against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, Feb. 16 and then Crossfire Premier a day later in Redmond, Wash.
U-16’S GET A POINT: The Galaxy U-16’s snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday, playing to a wild 3-3 draw with Real So Cal. Rolando Muñoz gave LA a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, only for Real to answer nine minutes later. The score remained 1-1 until halftime, setting the stage for a back-and-forth final 40 minutes. Real So Cal went in front for the first time in the 64th minute, only for the Galaxy to equalize a minute later with a goal from Christian Chavez. In the 78th minute, Real So Cal looked to have scored the game-winning goal, but LA once again fought back, scoring a minute later through Taylor Takada to claim a 3-3 draw. The goal was the first of the season for Takada, who had entered the game as a substitute midway through the second half.
The Galaxy U-16’s are now 2-5-5 for 11 points on the season while Real So Cal are now 8-4-2.
LA GALAXY U-12 TRYOUTS: The LA Galaxy will be hosting three tryouts for their Galaxy U-12’s in the South Bay and Orange County on February 15 and February 22. The first tryout will be held in the South Bay at Manhattan Village Field in Manhattan Beach, Calif. on Friday, Feb. 15 from 4-6 p.m. while the two tryouts in Orange County will take place at Concordia University on Friday, Feb. 15 and Friday, Feb. 22 from 6:30-8 p.m.
Players, born in August 2001 or after, will have the opportunity to be coached and evaluated by the Galaxy Academy staff during camps, which are being held in conjunction with Galaxy Alliance clubs West Coast Futbol Club and South Bay Force. Registration for these tryouts is free.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
LA Galaxy U-18’s vs. San Juan Soccer Club Saturday, February 9
Game will be played at Mather Soccer Complex at 11 a.m.
LA Galaxy U-16’s vs. San Juan Soccer Club Saturday, February 9
Game will be played at Mather Soccer Complex at 1:30 p.m.
Times and locations for all games are correct as of Wednesday, February 6. Click here for a complete schedule of games in the Southern California Development Soccer League and U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which includes the Galaxy Academy’s U-16 and U-18 teams.