CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s historic establishment Girls Academy teams is another step forward for a club that fashions themselves as the premier organization in the United States.
The Galaxy announced the creation of the LA Galaxy Girls’ U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 Academy teams which will compete in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy League. The U.S. Soccer Girl’s Developmental Academy league will kick off in 2017.
“When we decide to do anything and get involved in anything, we want to do it to the fullest extent and be the best that there is,” Galaxy president Chris Klein said. “We couldn’t be more excited for this launch. We want to provide the player pathway the same way that we’ve done for boys. We want to create young men and women that are representative of the values of the LA Galaxy wherever they go in life.”
The three squads will consist of 23 players from within a 75-mile radius of StubHub Center like their male counterparts. In addition to the three Developmental Academy teams, girls across Southern California will have other competitive possibilities through alliance youth club LA Galaxy San Diego. The Galaxy Girls U-13, U-16, and U-18 will train at StubHub Center four times a week, while also playing matches against opponents from across the region.
According to Galaxy Vice President of Soccer Operations, Peter Vagenas, the establishment of a girl’s academy was the next step for the Galaxy’s developmental project.
“Along with everything that we’re doing on the boy’s side, we’re continuing to evolve as a club and take next steps. This is the next step for us to build out the developmental structure in our club. Obviously, our women in this country are world renown for their efforts,” Vagenas said. “There is an incredible amount of talent in Southern California and across the United States. As a club, it is our responsibility and our duty to make sure the best girls have the best opportunities in the best environments. It’s an exciting time.”
Added Klein, “Soccer in Southern California, both on the girls and the boy’s side, has always been a thriving market. The players that have come out of here are numerous. We want to put our philosophy into practice on the girl’s side as well. That starts with teaching, and that starts with the environment and with coaching. We have the right environment at StubHub Center, and now we start the process of building out our staff and finding the right people to work with these girls every single day.”
Given the importance of women’s soccer in the American soccer fabric, Vagenas is overjoyed to start the Galaxy’s latest endeavor.
“It’s really a monumental event for our club. We’ve put a lot of hard work into getting this off the ground,” Vagenas said. “We’re proud to be a part of it. We expect to put our full staff and full resources behind this fantastic accomplishment.”