The LA Galaxy and three more teams have been added to U.S. Soccer’s Girls’ Development Academy, bringing the total number of clubs to 74. The first season kicks off in the fall of 2017.
Albion SC (San Diego, Calif.), the San Jose Earthquakes (San Jose, Calif.) and United Futbol Academy (Cumming, Ga.) have also been added to the new league, which will stage leagues at the U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 levels.
According to the club, “LA Galaxy Girls’ Academy team will be the first and only program to be fully-funded by a Major League Soccer side, allowing talented local athletes to join free of charge.”
The Galaxy previously had a separate club admitted into the Development Academy through its alliance youth club, LA Galaxy San Diego.
“The LA Galaxy want to continue to invest in and lead the development of youth soccer in North America in every facet,” LA Galaxy President Chris Klein said. “Adding an Academy program for girls is a huge step for this club in order to continue that investment. We are thrilled to launch this program and provide a structure for young girls to grow and develop in a professional environment free of charge.”
Could the huge investment by the Galaxy mean anything about the club’s interest in the National Women’s Soccer League? LAFC, which is expected to begin play in MLS in 2018, is considered one of the leading expansion candidates for the league. LAFC was previously admitted to the Girls’ Development Academy through a partnership with one of the most famous girls’ clubs in the country, Slammers, of Costa Mesa, Calif.
The Galaxy’s owner, Phillip Anschutz, and parent company AEG, owned the Los Angeles Sol in 2009 in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) before ending his investment in the now defunct league. Anschutz had, according to those close to the situation, informed the league ahead of time that he would only invest in the team for one year.
So would AEG get involved in professional women’s soccer again, given some of the early successes of MLS-NWSL partnerships in Portland, Houston and Orlando?
One source told me this summer that Galaxy *might* still have a say on NWSL in LA, & club isn't just willing to concede the market to LAFC. https://t.co/4CZ2JkjwiN
— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) October 11, 2016
The San Jose Earthquakes is another club rumored to be in the mix as a potential NWSL expansion candidate.
Divisions for Girls’ DA
Additionally, U.S. Soccer announced that the Academy will be divided into six divisions in order to contain travel. The divisions are as follows:
|Boston Breakers (Watertown, Mass.)||Boca United FC (Boca Raton, Fla.)||Cincinnati Development Academy (Cincinnati, Ohio)|
|Cedar Stars – Monmouth (Tinton Falls, N.J.)||Capital Area RailHawks (Raleigh, N.C.)||Eclipse Select Soccer Club (Oak Brook, Ill.)|
|East Meadow SC (East Meadow, N.Y.)||Charlotte Soccer Academy (Matthews, N.C.)||Empire United Soccer Academy (West Henrietta, N.Y.)|
|FC Fury NY (Bay Shore, N.Y.)||Concorde Fire (Atlanta, Ga.)||FC United (Northfield, Ill.)|
|FC Stars (Acton, Mass.)||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||Indiana Fire Academy (Westfield, Ind.)|
|FC Virginia (Chantilly, Va.)||NTH Tophat (Marietta, Ga.)||Michigan Hawks (Wixom, Mich.)|
|Oakwood Soccer Club (Glastonbury, Conn.)||Orlando Pride (Orlando, Fla.)||Midwest United FC (Grand Rapids, Mich.)|
|PA Classics (Manheim, Pa.)||United Futbol Academy (Cumming, Ga.)||Nationals (Pontiac, Mich.)|
|Penn Fusion Soccer Academy (Westtown, Pa.)||United Soccer Alliance (Jacksonville, Fla.)||Shattuck-St. Mary’s Rev SC (Faribault, Minn.)|
|Sky Blue – PDA (Bernardsville, N.J.)||West Florida Flames (Brandon, Fla.)||Sockers FC Chicago (Palatine, Ill.)|
|Virginia Development Academy (Woodbridge, Va.)||Weston FC (Weston, Fla.)||Western New York Flash (Elma, N.Y.)|
|Washington Spirit Maryland (Boyds, Md.)|
|Washington Spirit Virginia (Fairfax, Va.)|
|World Class FC (Orangeburg, N.Y.)|
|Colorado Rush (Littleton, Co.)||Burlingame Soccer Club (Burlingame, Calif.)||Albion SC (San Diego, Calif.)|
|Dallas Texans Soccer Club (Plano, Texas)||California Storm (Sacramento, Calif.)||Beach Futbol Club (Torrance, Calif.)|
|FC Dallas (Frisco, Texas)||Crossfire Premier (Redmond, Wash.)||Eagles Soccer Club (Camarillo, Calif.)|
|FC Kansas City (Prairie Village, Kan.)||De Anza Force (Campbell, Calif.)||LA Galaxy (Carson, Calif.)|
|Houston Dash (Houston, Texas)||Eastside FC (Issaquah, Wash.)||LA Galaxy San Diego (Carlsbad, Calif.)|
|Houston United DA (Spring, Texas)||La Roca Futbol Club (Kaysville, Utah)||LAFC Slammers (Costa Mesa, Calif.)|
|Lonestar Soccer Club (Austin, Texas)||Lamorinda Soccer Club (Moraga, Calif.)||Legends FC (Chino, Calif.)|
|Real Colorado (Centennial, Co.)||Portland Thorns (Portland, Ore.)||Los Angeles Premier Futbol Club (La Canada Flintridge, Calif.)|
|Solar Soccer Club (Allen, Texas)||PSV Union Football Club (Palo Alto, Calif.)||Pateadores (Costa Mesa, Calif.)|
|SPORTING Blue Valley (Overland Park, Kan.)||San Jose Earthquakes (San Jose, Calif.)||Real So Cal (Woodland Hills, Calif.)|
|Sting Soccer Club (Addison, Texas)||Seattle Reign (Seattle, Wash.)||San Diego Surf Soccer Club (Del Mar, Calif.)|
|Texas Rush Soccer Club (The Woodlands, Texas)||SC del Sol (Phoenix, Ariz.)|
|TSC Hurricane (Jenks, Okla.)||So Cal Blues (Laguna Hills, Calif.)|
|West Coast Futbol Club (Laguna Hills, Calif.)|