Academy U-16 and U-18 squads go undefeated in opening weekend

CARSON, Calif. (Friday, September 14, 2012) – The LA Galaxy U-16’s and U-18’s kicked off their U.S. Soccer Development Academy seasons earlier this month, each hosting a pair of games at The Home Depot Center.

The U-16’s, playing with a mostly new generation of players, earned two draws in their first Development Academy games on the 2012-13 season. With only a handful of players returning from last year’s team, the squad was able to come from behind to claim a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC in their first game of the season, with Adrian Vera and Jonathan Ramirez each getting on the score sheet. Vera gave LA a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute, only for Seattle to score midway through the first half and then early in the second half to take a 2-1 lead. Ramirez then earned a point for LA, scoring in the 63rd minute to give his side a 2-2 draw.

They were back in action the following day and took a 1-0 lead late in the first half through Steve Martinez. Portland equalized midway through the second half to claim a 1-1 draw.

PHOTOS: U-16 & U-18 Season Openers

The U-18’s, who feature an experienced squad that includes Jack McBean, Drew Murphy, Willie Raygoza and Sebastian Velasquez from last year’s squad that won the SoCal Division championship also opened their season at The Home Depot Center, taking four of a possible six points on the weekend. LA opened the season with an entertaining 3-3 draw with Seattle that saw Justin Dhillon, Jack McBean and Bryan Ramirez all score for LA. Dhillon and McBean tallied in the 16th and 28th minutes respectively, cancelling out a pair of Sounders goals to send the game into halftime tied at 2-2. Just eight minutes after the restart, Ramirez struck to give the Galaxy their first lead of the game at 3-2. However, the Sounders equalized with 16 minutes left in the game and the two sides settled for a share of the points.

There would be no draw for the Galaxy U-18’s the following day as they eased to a 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers. Willie Raygoza opened the scoring just before halftime and Aaron Lombardi added a 62nd minute strike while Daniil Slepukhin earned his first clean sheet of the season in goal as the Galaxy improved to 1-0-1 on the season.

Both sides will be back in action on Saturday when they hit the road for the first time this year, traveling to Riverside, Calif. to take on Arsenal FC. The U-18’s will start the day at 11 a.m., with the U-16’s following at 1:30 p.m. Both games will be played at Riverside Community College. U16 Schedule | U18 Schedule