The LA Galaxy are set to begin their first season in USL-PRO this spring, Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated revealed on twitter this afternoon. Bruce Arena told reporters as such a few weeks ago, but we were asked to hold off until the official announcement. We still haven't had that moment, but the story is out of the bag. It's no longer a rumor, the club is on the schedule.
Hearing that the LA Galaxy's USL Pro team will play its 1st game vs. Sacramento Republic at the end of March. USL sched coming soon.— Brian Straus (@BrianStraus) January 23, 2014
USL-Pro has not released their official schedule, so this is our first report of when a Galaxy USL-Pro team would begin play. Sacramento Republic did announce a deal affiliating with both the Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes, the first time a USL-Pro side has affiliated with two MLS Clubs.
It's also unclear how the contracts will be handled between LA and LA2, but it's likely that's where several young prospects will end up. MLS teams don't have to be roster compliant until a specific date in the pre-season, but LA is currently holding interests in over thirty players.
"That's part of the reason we have the USL team," said Bruce Arena. "We have the opportunity to get all these players playing and giving them the right opportunities to develop."
It's a good destination for the recent homegrown signings, and likely some older signings and draft picks will end up playing there as well. Arena said that "one of the issues when you are trying to develop players is throwing them in the mix too early...it can deter their development."
In past MLS seasons there was often no choice, development and depth where one in the same and if the right injury combination hit there was no choice but to throw players out there. The reserve league, which was there to help with development, often suffered from erratic scheduling.
Galaxy's USL Pro team, 1st of its kind, likely to be coached by LA asst Curt Onalfo, who turned down offer to be head coach at Chivas USA.— Brian Straus (@BrianStraus) January 23, 2014
We'll learn more when the official announcement comes, but this could be a big deal as far as the future of the Galaxy is concerned.