's "The Word" analyzes the LA Galaxy Academy system

The must read for Friday comes from's Nick Firchau, who wrote a fantastic piece for the league's website on the growth of the LA Galaxy Academy.

A few of relavant statistics from the article:

* The LA Galaxy and Chivas USA share a 75-mile radius from The Home Depot Center in which to recruit potential Academy players.

* According to Kentaro Group, an international sports rights agency that compiled statistics for, there are roughly 141,000 registered young male soccer players eligible to play in the Galaxy’s academy system.

* According to club President Chris Klein, the LA Galaxy spend 1.5 million and 1.7 million on the academy. 

Read the piece below...

How Jose Villarreal explains the future of MLS youth development

As well as the comapnion piece on how small market teams are dealing with their own youth academies.