The Galaxy, traditionally a leader among MLS clubs notched another first today, as widely expected, — they have become the first team to own and operate a minor league team in USL Pro, the top tier of the nation’s minor league soccer pyramid.
LA Galaxy II, as the club will be known, will field the club’s reserve team, which will be coached by Curt Onalfo, a move the club is characterizing as a promotion for the assistant Galaxy coach.
“The LA Galaxy are taking a monumental step for player development in North America,” said Galaxy President Chris Klein. “The creation of LA Galaxy II, through USL PRO, provides the Galaxy with a fully realized player development program starting with the Under-12 Academy teams through the LA Galaxy first team. The investment of AEG and the Galaxy in LA Galaxy II allows us to continue to develop the best players in Southern California and lessen the gap between the Academy and the LA Galaxy.”
The club will play all its 14 home games at StubHub Center; the 28-game season schedule is set for release next week. Admission is free to season ticket holders. Single game tickets go on sale Feb. 18; $72 season tickets are also available.
As usual, playing personnel include a mix of first-teamers, academy players and others.
“LA Galaxy II gives our young players, both in the academy and on the first team, additional playing time and opportunities to grow as players,” said Technical Director Jovan Kirovski. “We see this as a pioneering effort in player development in North America and something that will advance our club on the field and in the community.”
USL Pro affiliates will replace the MLS reserve league. MLS teams will either field a second team in USL Pro or affiliate with an existing USL Pro franchise by 2015. Ten USL Pro teams have already entered into MLS affiliation agreements.
The addition of LA Galaxy II creates a 14-team league for USL Pro in 2014.
The USL Pro season schedule was released. Here’s the Galaxy II’s season schedule.
Every game this season for the entire league will be televised free on YouTube.