LOS ANGELES (Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017) – The LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy has added two members to its coaching staff in conjunction with their first-ever on-field action, which took place this weekend San Diego as part of the Surf Cup. Sal Diaz and Diego Souza were officially named to the staff of the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy, the first and only Girls’ Academy program to be fully-funded by a Major League Soccer side, allowing talented local athletes to join free of charge.
In their first-ever competitive action, the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy went 7-5-1 across the tournament, with the U-19’s receiving finalist medals for reaching the Surf Cup Final. This weekend’s participation in the Surf Cup marked the first-ever competition for any level of the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy, which is led by Director Kevin Hartman, a former LA Galaxy and MLS legend. The Surf Cup in San Diego took place ahead of the kickoff of the inaugural season of the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy League, which is set for the beginning of September.
Diaz joins the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy after years of experience coaching in Southern California and for U.S. Youth Soccer, including stints at LA Galaxy South Bay, LA Harbor College (LAHC) Women’s Soccer and on staff on the U.S. U-20 level as an assistant coach. Prior to his time coaching, he played collegiately at Loyola Marymount University and at LA Harbor College. During that time, he earned honors as Suncoast Conference Player of the Year (2000, 2001), while earning the most goals and assists in LAHC history and being a 2015 Inductee to the LAHC Hall of Fame.
Souza has previously been a part of LA Galaxy South Bay, where he served as the Director of Player Development and Curriculum, prior to joining the Galaxy Girls’ Academy. He also served as head coach of LAHC, where he became the winningest coach in school history during his time there. In his playing career, he spent four years playing for Loyola Marymount University, where he was named a D-I All-American.
ABOUT THE LA GALAXY GIRLS’ ACADEMY
Founded in 2016 the LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy is the first and only Girls’ Academy program to be fully-funded by a Major League Soccer side, allowing talented local athletes to join free of charge. It will consist of U-14, U-15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 teams that will compete in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy League. Each team will consist of up to 23 players from within a 75-mile radius of StubHub Center, home of the LA Galaxy. With their inclusion, the LA Galaxy now have created multiple possibilities for girls across Southern California to compete in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy League, by complimenting their alliance youth club, LA Galaxy San Diego, who have already been admitted to the Development Academy program. StubHub Center and the LA Galaxy will now house the LA Galaxy, LA Galaxy II, LA Galaxy Academy boys and girls teams and the LA Galaxy Blended Learning Program, which will all operate within the stadium facilities.
ABOUT THE U.S. SOCCER GIRLS’ DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY
The U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy League focuses on positively impacting everyday club environments to maximize elite female youth player development. Increasing the training to game ratio, playing fewer but more meaningful games and providing assistance for coaching education and development are just some of the standards and best practices the program will promote. Competitively, the program competition will feature local and regional matches as well as regional and national events with playing rules based on international standards, e.g., no re-entry, limited substitutions and proper rest and recovery periods. The season will be structured over a 10-month period and as in the Boys' Development Academy, the clubs will be organized by divisions and conferences with national and/or regional events incorporated into the overall program.
LA Galaxy single-game tickets for the remainder of the 2017 MLS season are available for purchase. Galaxy fans can go to www.lagalaxy.com/tickets or call 877.3GALAXY (342.5299) for information, purchasing, and special offers.