Today the LA Galaxy announced the creation and ownership of a USL Pro team named the LA Galaxy II. The new team will create the final rung in the ladder to the first team for academy products.
As we should be with all things, the Galaxy will be the first MLS club to own and operate our own USL team. The groundbreaking link to the lower divisions of US soccer will allow us to dictate exactly how our academy products will develop, rather than sending them out on loan to be coached by another organization. Now a player will have a direct route from the U-12 academy, the U-16s/18s, into the LA Galaxy II and finally into the first team.
In house, where they belong, learning the “LA Galaxy way”.
To make it very clear, this is an entirely new professional soccer club being established. They will be owned and operated by our beloved LA Galaxy but they will be a USL Pro team. They will have their own roster, salary/player restrictions, schedule and coaching staff.
Speaking of coaching staff, Curt Onalfo (current assistant coach) has been named the Head Coach of LA Galaxy II. Before joining the Galaxy setup he had previously taken charge of the Kansas City Wizards and DC United as their head coach. While Curt was running the LA Galaxy Reserves we won back-to-back Reserve West Division titles.
Most importantly, the LA Galaxy II will also be a place for our Home Grown Players (HGPs) to get regular playing time at a competitive level. Last year Oscar Sorto was signed to an HGP deal but the promising RB never saw the field for the first team. With the creation of LAG II, Sorto can be a starter week in and week out (depending on availability for the MLS team) for competitive games to help him develop. Gyasi Zardes could play weekly as a forward to get regular time rather than as a winger out of necessity. Raul Mendiola and Bradford Jamieson joined Jack McBean, Zardes, Sorto, and Jose Villarreal (loaned to Cruz Azul) in our HGP ranks. In the USL, these players will get to play regular minutes, in their position, against professionals while still collecting a salary. This will allow us to sign players to contracts and offer them time rather than losing them to other development programs.
Tickets to see the LA Galaxy II team will be included with your LARS 2014 Season Ticket Package. There are 14 home games this season and your season ticket to the MLS Galaxy will allow you to see every USL Galaxy match as well. This offer is extended only to those who have purchased Supporters Group season tickets, everyone in the rest of the stadium will have to purchase a ticket.