CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, May 14, 2013) – A 1-1 draw against the San Diego Surf U-18’s at The Home Depot Center on Saturday saw the Galaxy inch another point above Real Salt Lake-Arizona atop the Southwestern Division in the West Conference with only two regular season games remaining.
The Galaxy, who had a two-point advantage with a game in-hand over RSL-AZ heading into the weekend, made it a three-point margin after fighting back from a goal down in the second half against the Surf. The first side to break the deadlock was San Diego just before halftime when defender Jake Skoll gave the Surf a 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute. LA started the second half by bringing on Lucas Da Silva for forward Justin Dhillon who saw limited second-half action for the Galaxy in Tuesday night’s Reserve League game.
Down a goal, LA fought its way back into the game and equalized in the 66th minute when forward Raul Mendiola netted his 12th goal on the season, second-best on the team behind Dhillon. The Mendiola strike would ultimately end up being the final goal of the game with both sides gaining a point in the standings.
With only two regular season games remaining, the Galaxy now have their sights set on Saturday’s clash with Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center Track and Field Stadium at 10 a.m. Chivas, who currently sits in fifth-place of the Southwestern Division of the Western Conference with 47 points, are only three points above Strikers FC with Saturday being the team’s final regular season game. Hungry to stay in wildcard contention, Chivas (14-8-5, 47 pts.) trails Pateadores by a point and will be aiming to avenge the early October 3-1 to defeat to the Galaxy that saw Dhillon, Jack McBean and Drew Murphy all net goals for LA. The Galaxy (18-4-4, 58 pts.) can lock up first place in the division and enter the U.S. Development Academy Playoffs as division winners for a second consecutive season with wins in the team’s final two regular season games, both at home. LA’s final home game will be on Saturday June 1 against Real So Cal at 10 a.m.
MARTINEZ NETS A DOUBLE BUT GALAXY U-16’S SUBDUED BY SURF: The LA Galaxy U-16’s fought back from a two-goal deficit before the San Diego Surf managed to grab a late goal and edge LA 3-2 at The Home Depot Center on Saturday in Development Academy regular season action.
Steve Martinez was once again an unstoppable force upfront and powered the Galaxy back into the match with goals in the 32nd and 57th minute to even the game at 2-2. The brace was Martinez’s 18th goal in 17 games and 10th in his last six games. However, the striker’s stellar performance was overshadowed by a Guillermo Bermudez goal in the 70th minute that lifted the Surf to a 3-2 road victory over LA. Other Surf scores came from Justin Fiddes in the 25th minute and Bryce Flores in the 27th.
With playoffs out of the picture, the Galaxy are geared up for finishing the season on a high note at home against Division-leaders Chivas USA (19-3-5, 62 pts.) on Saturday May 18 at 12:30 p.m. at The Home Depot Center Track and Field Stadium. The two sides last met on October 14 when the Galaxy was blanked 2-0. The Galaxy are currently seventh in the Southwest Division standings with a 7-11-8 record and 29 points.
GALAXY U-14’S AND U-15’S OUSTED FROM CAL SOUTH NATIONAL CUP: Over the weekend, two LA Galaxy Academy teams were unable to advance in the Cal South National Cup, which is the qualifying tournament for the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series Far West Regionals. The U-15’s, who finished second in Group K, bowed out in the Round of 16 to top-seeded Santa Barbara SC White, 4-2, on Saturday at the Lancaster Soccer Complex after the team had cruised to a 2-0 victory over West Coast FC on May 5 in the Round of 32. At that same complex on Saturday, the U-14’s won an overtime thriller over DMS 11 Academy, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. The win propelled the Galaxy into the semifinal game on Sunday against United Futbol Club, the bracket’s top seed, who would put an unfortunate end to LA’s playoff run by a 4-1 final score. United will play Pateadores in the U-14 final. The finals of the Cal South National Cup for both age groups will be at Rancho Capistrano Soccer Complex— the U-14’s final is scheduled to be played Saturday, May 18 while the U-15’s final is set for Sunday, May 19. The winner advances to the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series Far West Regionals, which are being held this year in Honolulu, Hawaii from June 17-23.
2013 SUENO MLS FINALS A SUCCESS IN LA: The Home Depot Center hosted the National Finals of Sueno MLS 2013 – Presented by Allstate from May 9 to 12. The 18 National Finalists, which include 15 field players and three goalkeepers chosen from the nearly 3,000 trialists from across the country, endured four days of competition and mentoring by top soccer legends, including Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama, former U.S. National World Cup defender Jeff Agoos, former Mexico National Team goalkeeper Felix Fernandez and MLS Technical Director Alfonso Mondelo. The field players battled for the Sueño MLS 2013 – Presented by Allstate trophy with 14-year-old forward Alexander Soto from Elizabeth, N.J. taking the crown as the youngest player ever to win the competition. The Allstate “Good Hands®” top goalkeeper - El Portero Allstate award was handed to 17-year-old Luis Aranzazu from Pembroke Pines, FL. Both winners were announced live on Sunday, May 12 on Univision Network’s República Deportiva, which has chronicled the competition in a “reality show within a show” format. Heriberto Becerra, Erick Bermudez, Victor Balanzar, Josue Soto, Joshua Varon and Edgar Villalpando are all California residents who advanced through the LA Galaxy tryout market and competed in the competition.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
LA Galaxy U-18’s vs. Chivas USA
Saturday, May 18
Game will be played at The Home Depot Center – Track and Field Facility at 10 a.m.
LA Galaxy U-16’s vs. Chivas USA
Saturday, May 18
Game will be played at The Home Depot Center – Track and Field Facility at 12:30 p.m.
Times and locations for all games are correct as of Tuesday, May 7. 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.