The Girls’ LA Galaxy Academy has announced the addition of two technical staff members today: Annie Alvarado has been named Associate and Assistant Coach and Rachel Schmid has been named Sports Performance Coach. They are the newest additions to the LA Galaxy’s groundbreaking initiative: the first Girls’ Academy to be fully-funded by an MLS club.
Alvarado joins the club as a recent graduate of UCLA, where she was a member of the women’s soccer team and their first ever National Championship team in 2013. In addition to her time with the Bruins, Alvarado won two Pac-12 championships and served as the team’s captain in her junior and senior year. Alvarado was also a standout off the field, being elected to the pac-12 All-Academic Team in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
With the Galaxy, Alvarado chooses to begin her coaching career after an illustrious career at UCLA. In addition to serving as an assistant coach, Annie will also assist with administration and overall management of the four age groups. She also looks to provide mentorship and guidance for each player within the Academy as they look to take the next steps in their youth soccer careers as well.
“To bring someone in as talented and decorated as Anna is great for the Girls’ Academy,” Girls’ LA Galaxy Academy Director Kevin Hartman said. “She achieved great success with UCLA on and off the pitch. She’s going to be great role model for our players to look up to.”
Schmid, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with a USSF National “C” Coaching License, has been hired as the Academy’s Strength and Conditioning Coach while continuing in her role as a member of the UC Irvine women’s soccer coaching staff. A former physiologist for the U.S. Women’s Youth National Team, Schmid obtained a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from Cal State Fullerton – a degree she obtained while playing for semi-professional Los Angeles Strikers of the W-League. After, she spent four years as the assistant women’s soccer coach at Marymount California University, while also serving as the team’s strength and conditioning coach and helping them to the California Pacific Conference tournament in each season of her tenure.
Schmid is an alum of the UC Irvine Women’s Soccer program and a former captain of the school’s 2008 team.
In her role with the Galaxy, she will work alongside the coaching staff to plan and facilitate training that maximizes academy athletes’ athletic potential. Schmid will develop and execute weight lifting and conditioning programs specific to the needs of the Girls’ Academy varying age ranges.
“We’re very excited to add someone as experienced as Rachel to our staff,” Hartman said. “She’s had tremendous success at numerous levels of the girls’ soccer scene in Southern California and bringing that kind of talent into our organization is a tremendous acquisition.”
“We are very pleased to add two tremendously talented people to our Girls’ Academy staff,” said Girls’ Academy Technical Consultant Matt Tutton. “Annie and Rachel possess all of the qualities at the core of our culture. We are confident they will make an immediate impact on our program and serve as powerful role models to our young female athletes.”
Launched in 2016, the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy became the first and only program to be fully-funded by a Major League Soccer side, allowing talented and local athletes to join free of charge.
In their first season, the Girls' Academy features four age groups: U-14, U-15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 competing in seven divisions across the country. All LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy teams will play 28 games over a 10-month season from September to July, including additional Winter, Spring and Summer Showcases and finally culminating in the Academy Championships. 70 players currently make up the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy roster, with player additions continuing through the regular season. The Girls’ Academy train four days each week with the Academy’s technical staff at StubHub Center.