CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013) – With high hopes and even high goals, the LA Galaxy Academy Under-18 and Under-16 teams travel the Pacific Northwest this weekend to kickoff the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season.
Both teams start Development Academy play this Saturday in Seattle against the Seattle Sounders FC Academy at the Starfire Sports Complex. The U-18’s take the field first at noon, followed by the U-16’s at 2:30 p.m. The next day, both teams travel to Portland to face the Portland Timbers FC Academy at Timbers Training Facility. The U-18’s will kickoff the first game at 10 a.m. followed by the U-16’s at 12:30 p.m.
Led by head coach Ante Razov, one of the all-time leading goal scorers in MLS history, the Galaxy Academy U-18’s roster features more than 10 players that have been called in by U.S. Soccer to various Youth National Team training camps, including two players that were part of the 2013 Spring Semester U-17 Residency Program earlier this year. The team is looking to improve on the last season’s Southwest Division championship campaign and advance to Finals Week, a feat never accomplished before by the Galaxy Academy at the U-18 level.
“We’ve put together a very good squad for LA Galaxy Academy U-18’s this season. We have some very experienced players on our roster and that has created fierce competition within the group to make roster spots on game days,” Razov said. “As a coach, that’s what you’re hoping. Because of the competion, the training sessions have been intense and as a result we’ve had a good preseason and are looking forward to the challenge that is the U.S. Soccer Development Academy season.”
The Galaxy Academy U-16’s also features a handful of players that have part of various U.S. Soccer Youth National Team training camps, including two players— goalkeeper Abraham Romero and forward Haji Wright— that are currently in Bradenton, Fla. as part of the 2013 Fall Semester U-17 Residency Program. The National Champions of the 2010-11 Development Academy season, with a squad led by Galaxy Homegrown forward Jack McBean, the Galaxy Academy U-16’s missed out on the playoffs last year with a record of 7-13-8. With hopes of returning to the playoffs, the Galaxy added Mike Muñoz to the coaching staff in July. Muñoz has a career coaching record of 53-12-15 in the Development Academy, has advance to the playoffs each of his three seasons in the USSDA and was named the 2010-11 USSDA Coach of the Year.
“I’m very excited about the talent pool that we’ve created for the U-16 LA Galaxy Academy team," Muñoz said. “It’s a group that now has one year under their belt, in terms of academy experience, and that is very important. That experience will really help us improve on last season’s records and make a push this year toward the Academy Playoffs. Aside from wins and losses, our goal is to continue to help develop these players so that they can than go on and perform at their highest level for the U-18’s, Reserve Team or our First Team, if called upon.”
After the games this weekend, the Galaxy Academy returns to Southern California to begin preparations for their first home game of the season, a triple-header against the San Diego Surf on Sunday, Sept. 29 on the Galaxy’s Training Field at StubHub Center. The games start at 10 a.m. with the U-18’s taking the field first, followed by the U-16’s at 12:30 p.m. and then the U-14’s at 3 p.m.
LA Galaxy Academy U-18 Roster
GOALKEEPERS (1): Cesar Jerez.
DEFENDERS (10): Juan Barajas, Jason Eng, Malcolm Jones, Elijah Martin, Manuel Padilla, Jeffrey Quezada, Juan Reyna, Justin Schottenhammer, Ivan Vasquez, Sebastian Velasco.
MIDFIELDERS (5): Andrew Benitez, Ryo Fujii, Hugo Gutierrez, Axel Mendez, Edgar Murillo.
FORWARDS (6): Adonis Amaya, Christian Chavez, Bradford Jamieson IV, Aaron Lombardi, Steve Martinez, Jaime Villarreal.
HEAD COACH: Ante Razov
LA Galaxy Academy U-16 Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Abraham Romero, Bennett Sneddon.
DEFENDERS (11): Bilal Abdallah, Elijah Barajas, Tyson Griffin, Daniel Huizar, Tyler Sady Kenney, Elan Koenig, Michael Lopez, Patrick Murphy, Christian Onalfo, Juan Orozco, Jorge Ruiz.
MIDFIELDERS (8): Colin Apel, Enrique Bustamante, Andrew Perez, Johnathan Ramirez, Alex Ramos, Christian Segovia, Adrian Vera.
FORWARDS (9): Marc Calderon, Kevin Diaz, Cesar Farias, Kosuke Ide, Brian O’Hara, Conner Ryan, Dylan Smith, Haji Wright, Ethan Zubak.
HEAD COACH: Mike Muñoz
TWO PLAYERS CALLED IN FOR U.S. U-18 CAMP: LA Galaxy Academy Under-18 defender Malcolm Jones and midfielder Elijah Martin were called-in by the U.S. Soccer Under-18 National Team for a week-long camp that will be held here at StubHub Center. Jones and Martin were two of 36 young stars summoned by U.S. U-18 Head Coach Javier Perez for the camp, which will go from Sunday, Sept. 22-29. From the camp, Perez will select 18 players to represent the U.S. in a four-team tournament in Limoges, France from Oct. 6-14. A native of Chino Hills, Calif., Jones recently participated in Perez’s National Combine at the Nike headquarters outside of Portland in August while Martin, native of Fresno, Calif., was selected to the U.S. U-17’s 20-player roster in February for a week-long competition in Panama. Due to National Team duty, neither player will travel with the Galaxy U-18’s this weekend when the team travels to Seattle and Portland to kick off the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season.
LA GALAXY U-14’S KICKOFF SEASON ON THE RIGHT FOOT: The LA Galaxy Academy U-14’s, playing in the inaugural season of U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-14 division, have started the year with two consecutive wins. On the heels of last week’s 4-1 win over the Central California Aztecs at the Kern County Soccer Park in Bakersfield, the Galaxy bested Santa Barbara Soccer Club 3-2 in their home opener this past Saturday. After two games, midfielder Noa Harrison and forward Jesus Nuñez have each scored a team-high three goals. Forward Ateno Ajeakwa is third with one. The Galaxy U-14’s will enjoy a bye week this weekend. Next up for Greg Vanney’s team is a home game against the San Diego Surf on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. The game, which will kickoff at 10 a.m., will be played on the Track and Field facility at StubHub Center.
GALAXY U-12’S ALSO WON FIRST GAMES OF THE SEASON: The LA Galaxy Academy U-12 South squad earned a pair of wins over the weekend to maintain a share of first place with nine points in the Under 12 Boys Flight 1 of the Southern California Developmental Soccer League with FC Golden State PDA 02 while the North team picked up a hard fought point on the road. On Saturday, the U-12 South hosted FC Golden State Gold at North Torrance High School Stadium and cruised to a 3-0 victory. On Sunday, Braeden Cloutier’s team traveled to Mira Costa High School Stadium to play the Galaxy U-12 North side and grabbed all three points after a narrow 1-0 win. Alex Yi’s North squad visited and drew 1-1 with FC Los Angeles B01 Black on Saturday at Mark Twain Middle School, raising the team’s points total to four. The North team returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 9:25 a.m. when they host league-leaders FC Golden State PDA 02 at North Torrance High School Stadium. Following the match on the same field, the South squad plays host to FRAM Soccer Club BU12 at 10:50 a.m.
GALAXY U-16 B’S SPLIT WEEKEND SERIES WHILE U-14 B’S OPEN SCDCL PLAY: The LA Galaxy Academy U-16 B’s, guided by head coach Andrew Boyens, began their Southern California Developmental Soccer League campaign at home with a 3-2 win over West Coast FC B at El Segundo High on Saturday. The team followed up their three point performance with 4-2 loss to Santa Clarita Valley Soccer Club B97 Magic on Sunday. The U-16 B’s return to SCDSL action on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 12:45 p.m. when the team plays host to FC Golden State Platinum on Field #1 at El Segundo High. The Galaxy U-14 B’s, led by head coach Ted Eck, will begin their SCDSL season on Saturday, at El Segundo High, against FC Golden State White at 5:50 p.m.
FIVE CALLED UP FOR MLS RESERVE GAME: LA Galaxy Reserve Team Head Coach Curt Onalfo called up five Academy players for the club’s reserve league game against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday. Forward Bradford Jamieson IV and defenders Malcolm Jones and Jeffrey Quezada all got minutes during the 2-2 draw while forward Adonis Amaya and goalkeeper Carlos Jerez got their first taste with the reserve team but were not used in the game. Jamieson was the first of the Academy quintet to enter the game, doing so in the 50th minute for Charlie Rugg. Jones entered the game in the 68th minute, replacing Colin Clark in the process, followed by Quezada in the 76th minute, replacing Oscar Sorto, whose own goal in the ninth minute gave Colorado an early lead. Rugg tied the game briefly at 1-1 goal in the 22nd minute before Chandler Hoffman put the Galaxy ahead in the 33rd minute with his team-high sixth goal of the Reserve League season. In the 88th minute, Danny Mwanga brought Colorado back to even with a goal to make it 2-2. The Galaxy are scheduled to face Chivas USA in their final Reserve League game of the season on Monday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
LA Galaxy U-18’s @ Seattle Sounders FC (Saturday, September 21)
Game will be played at Starfire Sports Complex – Stadium Field at 12 p.m.
LA Galaxy U-18’s @ Portland Timbers (Sunday, September 22)
Game will be played at Timbers Training Facility – Main Field at 10 a.m.
LA Galaxy U-16’s @ Seattle Sounders FC (Saturday, September 21)
Game will be played Starfire Sports Complex – Stadium Field at 2:30 p.m.
LA Galaxy U-16’s @ Portland Timbers (Sunday, September 22)
Game will be played Timbers Training Facility – Main Field at 12:30 p.m.
LA Galaxy U-16’s B vs. FC Golden State Platinum (Saturday, September 21)
Game will be played El Segundo High School – Field #1 at 12:45 p.m.
LA Galaxy U-14’s B vs. FC Golden State White (Saturday, September 21)
Game will be played El Segundo High School – Field #1 at 5:50 p.m.
LA Galaxy U-13’s @ Downtown SC B13 White (Saturday, September 21)
Game will be played Mendez Learning Center – Soccer Field at 12:15 p.m.
LA Galaxy U-13’s vs. Central California Aztecs B00 (Sunday, September 22)
Game will be played Mira Costa High School – Stadium Field at 11:00 a.m.
LA Galaxy North U-12’s vs. FC Golden State PDA 02 (Saturday, September 21)
Game will be played at North Torrance High School – Stadium Field at 9:25 a.m.
LA Galaxy South U-12’s vs. FRAM Soccer Club BU12 (Saturday, September 21)
Game will be played at North Torrance High School – Stadium Field at 10:50 a.m.
LA Galaxy South Bay B12 Gold vs. Santa Barbara SC BU12 White (Saturday, September 21)
Game will be played at North Torrance High School – Stadium Field at 12:15 p.m.
Times and locations for all games are correct as of Tuesday, Sept. 17. Click here for a complete schedule of games in the Southern California Development Soccer League and U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which includes the Galaxy Academy’s U-14, U-16 and U-18 teams.