CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, February 20, 2014) – The LA Galaxy announced Thursday that the club has signed 19-year-old forward Raul Mendiola as the club’s most recent Homegrown Player. Mendiola, who featured in nine MLS Reserve League games in 2013, was the back-to-back U-16 Development Academy Player of the Year in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons. Per club and league policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to add Raul Mendiola to our roster,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena. “Raul is a talented player and his addition to the team exemplifies the strength of our Academy and player development structure.”
Mendiola, who was named to the Development Academy Starting XI for the third time in 2013, is the seventh player overall signed from the LA Galaxy Academy. He joins Bradford Jamieson IV, Gyasi Zardes, Oscar Sorto, Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean, and Tristan Bowen as successful academy players that have made the leap to the club’s first team.
Mendiola, a native of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has spent the past three seasons with the Galaxy Academy. During the 2012-2013 USSDA campaign, he scored 13 goals in 26 games en route to the team’s second consecutive division title and a 20-7-4 record, earning USSDA Western Conference Under-17/18 Starting XI honors in the process. He also appeared in nine MLS Reserve League matches in 2013, making two starts as the Galaxy repeated as the Reserve League West Division champions with a 5-1-4 record.
In 2012, Mendiola was called-up for seven Galaxy Reserve League matches in addition to playing with the U-18 side. He tallied 118 minutes and three assists including setting up the Rafael Garcia’s 90th minute game-winner in a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders. He helped LA win the Reserve League’s West Division title for the first time in club history in 2012, guiding them to a 6-3-1 record for a Division-best 19 points.
Prior to the Galaxy, the Mexican-American forward spent two USSDA seasons with Arsenal FC, capping off his final season with the club in 2010-2011 by netting 14 goals in 32 games. In 2009-2010, Mendiola scored nine goals in 26 starts and helped guide Arsenal FC to a U-16 SoCal Division crown while also spending time on trial with Manchester City of the English Premier League and Sevilla FC of Spain’s La Liga. Mendiola has also spent time training with Liga MX side CF Pachuca in Mexico City.
Season tickets for the 2014 MLS season are on sale now, starting at just $250. Becoming a Galaxy Season Ticket Member gives fans the opportunity to see every Galaxy home game as well as number of additional benefits such as access to Town Hall meetings with Galaxy leaders, discounts on additional single game tickets, entrance into the club’s new Season Ticket Member loyalty program and much more as well as discounts at all TEAM LA locations and on select camps at the Galaxy Soccer Center in Torrance. For more information about becoming a Galaxy Season Ticket Member, please call 877-3GALAXY (342-5299) or visit www.lagalaxy.com/tickets.