CARSON, Calif. -- Four LA Galaxy Youth Academy players suited up for LA in their 1-1 Reserve League draw with Seattle Sounders FC.
Oscar Sorto, Paul Arriola, and Raul Mendiola each made appearances for LA in their draw. Academy starlets Nathan Smith and Drew Murphy were on the roster, but did not make an appearance.
Mendiola, who trained with LA’s first team in 2012, is coming off a successful appearance at the Dallas Cup tournament and provided several dangerous through balls during his 12 minute shift. Last season, Mendiola impressed with his speed and enthusiasm to go forward, but on Monday, he appeared to be a far more composed player with as focused on sending in service from his central midfield role while also providing cover in defensive situations.
Following the match, Galaxy assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo thought Mendiola showed growth in his performance against Seattle.
“He looks stronger; you can see that he’s gotten physically stronger,” said Onalfo “He’s a guy that creates things in the final third so in the end of a game when you need a goal, he’s a guy that is a good option for us. We’re watching him closely in his development.”
One of Mendiola’s teammates on Monday, midfield Michael Stephens admitted that the youth player did well, but must develop both sides of his game.
“He’s been in and out with our first team and the Academy, but I've always enjoyed playing with him,” said Stephens of Mendiola. “It’s just a matter of him putting in complete games, but offensively, he’s very good.”