Former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman was named Director of the LA Galaxy Girls Academy, Monday.
The Galaxy are the first team in MLS to operate fully-funded Girls Academy teams, with play beginning in the Fall.
“This club has meant so much to me throughout my career and I am deeply humbled to be able to lead this unique, innovative and monumental initiative from the LA Galaxy,” Hartman said. “Development among youth soccer players is critical, and providing the appropriate resources and platforms to facilitate that development is an important step. I am thrilled to be a part of implementing a structure for girls throughout Southern California to develop to grow and develop in a professional environment free of charge.”
Hartman was a member of the Galaxy from 1997-2006, making 243 appearances and winning two MLS Cup (2002 and 2005).
The academy will consist of players from the U-14 to U-19 level, competing in the U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy League. Each team will consist of up to 23 players from within a 75-mile radius of StubHub Center, home of the Galaxy.
The U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy League focuses on positively impacting everyday club environments to maximize elite female youth player development. Increasing the training to game ratio, playing fewer but more meaningful games and providing assistance for coaching education and development are just some of the standards and best practices the program will promote.
First, your thought for the day courtesy of a former Galaxy striker hoping to play in a little tournament this summer:
Seize the opportunity by the beard, for it is bald behind. ~Bulgarian Proverb
Let’s hope his former team will heed what one Mr. Herculez Gomez wrote above on his Facebook page in Dallas tonight where the Galaxy will really find out what life without Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan is like.
Of course, the saving grace here is that Donovan Ricketts will return between the posts and he leads the league in virtually every goalkeeping category including goals against average, shutouts, saves percentage, wins, longest shutout streak in minutes and doodles created while killing time in the net. While I’m no sure about that last one I’d love to link to those stats if only the cruddy new MLS site had them (or if they do make them obvious since I sure as hell can’t find them).
Phil Collin has the game basics here and you’ll notice the game is delayed tonight on TV, so I for one will be staying away from the laptop until later this evening.
But the Angel City Brigade is hosting two viewing parties where you can watch live: