CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy embarked upon a new venture on Tuesday, with the creation of an Under-23 side which the club hopes will give minutes to their top current Academy products and Homegrown eligible college players.
The U-23’s played the first game of their existence on Tuesday against Shenfield, a team from Essex in England, and easily overpowered the side with a 4-0 win.
To date, the team is not part of any organized league, but will play until the end of Summer. When asked about the new team, Technical Director Jovan Kirovski, who has been spearheading the initiative, explained the rationale behind it.
“We’re looking for a place we can evaluate where our Homegrown college kids and have a training environment for them in the offseason,” Kirovski told LA Galaxy Insider. “It’s something where we’re looking for the possibilities of being a USL team. That means that we could sign kids earlier, it should serve as a stepping stone to our first team.
“We can also have our young academy kids go through there,” Kirovski added. “We had some of our U-18’s who played last year play [on Tuesday] as well as some of the U-16’s, we also had college kids, so it’s a chance to for us to keep track of them. It’s great for these young kids to have a place to play and maybe, one day, play in our first team.”
The age range of the team is from 15 to 21 and some of the players that took part on Tuesday included: current academy standout Jaime Villarreal as well as academy graduate Javan Torre. Also participating were UCLA midfielder Grady Howe and Under-18 forward Steve Martinez, who each scored a goal. Joining the team were new faces Adonis Amaya, Ryo Fujji, Bradford Jamieson, Malcolm Jones, and Jeff Quezada.