National Signing Day: Seven LA Galaxy academy players sign NCAA letters

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Seven players from the LA Galaxy academy system has signed letters of intent to play college soccer.

On National Signing Day, the LA Galaxy had seven players from their academy system sign letters of intent to play NCAA soccer next school year. The seven players for the Galaxy U-18 team who will join the college ranks next year are: Paul Arriola, Willie Raygoza, and Nathan Smith (UCLA); Josh McNeely and Drew Murphy (UC Santa Barbara); Justin Dhillon (Cal Poly), and Vincent Reyes (FIU). However, at least one academy player has mixed feelings about signing his letter.

The tweet implies that Paul Arriola was expecting a homegrown contract, and isn't completely on board with going on to college. This ties directly into a conversation we've been having all this week, where the majority MLS academy players still have to go through an NCAA system without a contract.

As is the case in Major League Baseball, there's no requirement that players attend college but it is an either or proposition. Players lose their NCAA eligibility once they take a professional contract.

Arriola is also on the US U-18 national team, and is considered a five star prospect and the eighth best player at the IMG Academy according to Top Drawer Soccer (link). He's ranked #3 in Southern California and #2 amongst forwards.

LA Galaxy's Jack McBean is #3 on the IMG Academy top 150. William Raygoza, a midfielder, is ranked #9. Justin Dhillon comes in at #23, and Nathan Smith at #25. Josh McNeely comes in at #29, and Drew Murphy just makes the top 100 at #98.

All seven players will continue to play with the Galaxy U-18's until they enroll in college in the fall.

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