CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013) – The LA Galaxy Academy Under-18 and Under-16 teams will travel to San Diego this weekend to take on Nomads SC for their final U.S. Soccer Development Academy league games of the calendar year. The matches, which are also the teams’ first Development Academy games after a two-week break, will be played this Saturday on Field 1 at UC San Diego. Kickoffs are set for 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. for the U-16’s and U-18’s, respectively.
Led by Adonis Amaya’s team-high 9 goals in 8 games, the Galaxy U-18’s (5-1-2, 17 pts.) are currently second in the Southwest Division standings behind Real Salt Lake Arizona (6-0-1, 19 pts.). Nomads SC (3-2-1, 10 pts.) will enter the game in fourth place.
Through their first eight games of the season, the Galaxy U-18’s have scored a division-best 25 goals with the scoring output being divided by nine different players. Amaya has scored a team-best nine goals while Christian Chavez, Steve Martinez and Jaime Villarreal have each scored three times.
Following Saturday’s game, the Galaxy will travel to Florida in December to take part in the Development Academy Showcase. There, the Galaxy will play three games, facing Players Development Academy from New Jersey on Dec. 11, the FC Dallas Academy on Dec. 12 and the Chicago Fire Academy on Dec. 14. Following their participating in the showcase, the Galaxy U-18’s will be on winter break until the new year and do not return to action until Jan. 19 with a road game against Pateadores, in a game that was originally scheduled to be played on Oct. 26.
The Galaxy Academy U-16’s (6-0-3, 21 pts.), led by Jorge Ruiz’s team-high 8 goals in 9 games, currently lead the Southwest Division, sitting three points ahead of Real Salt Lake Arizona (6-1-0, 18 pts.). This weekend’s opponent Nomads SC (2-4-1, 7 pts.) will enter the game in eighth place.
Through their first nine games of the season, the Galaxy U-16’s have outscored their opponents 28-7 while posting four shutouts. Eleven different players have scored for team this season, including five players that have scored three goals or more. Ruiz and Jesus Nuñez each have eight goals, Ethan Zubak has scored five times, Adrian Vera has four goals and Dylan Smith has three.
Following Saturday’s game, the Galaxy U-16’s will travel to Florida in December to take part in the Development Academy Showcase. There, the squad will play three games, opening against the Carolina RailHawks Academy on Dec. 12, before then facing the Houston Dynamo Academy on Dec. 13 and the FC Dallas Academy on Dec. 15. Following their participating in the showcase, the Galaxy Academy U-16’s will be on winter break and do not return to action until Jan. 25 with a home game against the San Juan Soccer Club.
Both, the Galaxy Academy U-18’s and Galaxy Academy U-16’s, last played a Development Academy game on Nov. 10. On that day, the U-18’s came back against Real So Cal to claim a well-earned 2-2 draw while the U-16’s got four goals from Ethan Zubak to beat their Real So Cal counterparts 5-0.
LA GALAXY ACADEMY U-14’S TRAVEL TO SAN DIEGO: As part of the tripleheader between the LA Galaxy Academy and Nomads SC that is taking place this weekend, the Galaxy U-14’s will take on the Nomads SC U-14’s in the first of the three games being played this Saturday on Field 1 at UC San Diego at 3:30 p.m.
The Galaxy Academy U-14’s are coming off an impressive performance in the U-14 Development Academy West Coast showcase that took place at StubHub Center two weeks ago. The team, led by forward Noa Harrison, Hanif Wright and Ateno Ajeakwa, beat the Diablo Futbol Club 10-0 on the second day of the event as six different players found the back of the net— led by Harrison who scored four goals. On the first day of the games, the Galaxy U-14’s beat De Anza Force 5-1 as Ajeakwa and Jesus Nuñez each scored twice on the day while Wright scored his eighth goal of the season.
However, the Galaxy were handed just their second defeat of the season a week later on November 23 as the club fell 3-1 on the road against FC Golden State. That was LA’s first defeat in more than a month and they followed that defeat by winning four consecutive games in which they outscored their opponents 22-3.
NUÑEZ NAMED TO U.S. U-15 NATIONAL TEAM: LA Galaxy Academy Under-16 forward Jesus Nuñez is enjoying a terrific start to the 2013/14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. Despite playing a year up in competition, the 14-yer-old has scored eight goals in 10 games and is tied for the team-lead in scoring with teammate Jorge Ruiz.
On Monday, U.S. Soccer announced that Nuñez has been called up the U.S. U-15 National Team for their upcoming games in the Development Academy Winter Showcase set to take place Dec. 11-15. The Anaheim-resident was one of 18 players called in by head coach Hugo Perez that will face the U-15/16 New York Red Bulls (Dec. 12), De Anza Force (Dec. 13) and Weston FC (Dec. 15) at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
FOUR PLAYERS NAMED TO USSDA SHOWCASE GAMES: LA Galaxy Academy U-16 players Alex Ramos, Jorge Ruiz, Bennett Sneddon and Ethan Zubak were named this week to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy select games that are taking place during next month’s Winter Showcase in Bradenton, Fla. The quartet has been a big part of the Galaxy Academy U-16’s hot start to the season. The Galaxy are currently in first place in the SoCal Division with an overall record of 6-0-3 for 21 points. They are also first in the division in defense with only three goals allowed and second in the division in scoring with 24 goals scored.
NCAA TOURNAMENT UPDATE: Of the 12 former LA Galaxy Academy players that were in action for the start of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament, seven are still alive as the competition continues this weekend with the Third Round matchups.
Eliminated from the tournament were two players on the 10th-seed UC Santa Barbara Gauchos— midfielder Drew Murphy and goalkeeper Josh McNeely— which was upset by Penn State 1-0 in the second round of the tournament and three players from Loyola Marymount— senior forward Christian Alvarado, redshirt senior Billy Thompson and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Vince Paldino— that lost to Stanford in penalty kicks in the first round of the tournament.
Still alive in the tournament are the half-dozen former LA Galaxy Academy players that play for top-seed UCLA, which beat Elon 4-0 in the second round to advance to host Conneticut in the third round this Sunday at 5 p.m. Of the six players, three saw action during the win, including midfielder Grady Howe who started and played the entire 90 minutes and also had an assist. Defender Nathan Smith was also in the starting lineup and played 78 minutes while defender Javan Torre came off the bench to put in a 12-minute shift.
Also still alive in the tournament is defender Matt Tilley’s UC Irvine Anteaters, who beat North Carolina 1-0 at home in the second round of the tournament. The 12th seed Anteaters now travel to face perennial powerhouse Maryland, which is seeded No. 5, in the third round of the tournament this Sunday at 2 p.m. Tilley, who has not featured in a game for UCI this year, will not be available for selection as he continues to redshirt the season due to injury.
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THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
LA Galaxy Academy U-14’s @ Nomads SC (Saturday, Nov. 30)
Game will be played at University of California, San Diego at 3 p.m.
LA Galaxy Academy U-16’s @ Nomads SC (Saturday, Nov. 30)
Game will be played at University of California, San Diego at 5:30 p.m.
LA Galaxy Academy U-18’s @ Nomads SC (Saturday, Nov. 30)
Game will be played at University of California, San Diego at 8 p.m.
Times and locations for all games are correct as of Tuesday, Nov. 27. 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-12, U-14, U-16 and U-18 teams.