Yesterday the LA Galaxy launched a new project, an Under 23 squad that is mostly assembled for training purposes. The mixture of top academy players and college protected Homegrown players will scrimmage occasionally this summer, but any bigger plans are down the road. LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano has the scoop on what that bigger plan could be:
"It's something where we're looking for the possibilities of being a USL team," said Jovan Kirovski. "That means that we could sign kids earlier, it should serve as a stepping stone to our first team."
USL is the key term there. It was unclear before if the Galaxy were looking to join a small local league like Chivas USA, or if their target was USL-PDL like Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Orlando City.
While those teams' participation in USL-PDL means the occasional US Open Cup oddness (which is happening more and more now that MLS teams can use USL-Pro teams for the same purpose), it also allows them to essentially expand the signed roster. This would give kids like Paul Arriola, who chose to go to Tijuana Xolos rather than enroll at UCLA a place to ply their craft.
If the Galaxy were to enter a U23 side into the USL-PDL, they'd have natural rivals in LA (they play their games at CSU-SB), Orange County, and La Mirada. It seems like the natural next step in the evolution of the Galaxy academy system.
Also of note in Serrano's article, the new faces in the academy program including some of the Chivas academy players we know have jumped ship.