Carlsbad United Is Now LA Galaxy San Diego
This is big news in the hotly contested youth soccer world of Southern California – a hot bed of youth soccer talent. In fact, the US Youth Soccer State Association for the area, Cal South, has collected more medals and trophies on national level than any other state association … and more than many other states combined. This year, the Carlsbad United U18 Girls were crowned the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Champions – the country’s most prestigious national youth soccer tournament which starts with 185,000 players on more than 10,000 teams.
Soccer News: Carlsbad United FC (CUFC) is joining forces with Major League Soccer (MLS) powerhouse LA Galaxy beginning with the 2016 season. This is going to shift the power base of clubs in the Southern California area and provide new opportunities for players seeking exposure as they follow the dream of becoming a better player or even a professional one day. The four directors at Carlsbad United – Michael Duggan, Steve Cowell, Glenn Malone and Carl Higham – all worked with the Galaxy for nearly a year to establish this partnership.
“In recent years, we have focused our efforts on becoming a leader in developing players the right way, with focus on creating technically proficient and creative young players,” said Steve Cowell. “By representing the LA Galaxy in San Diego we are taking this commitment to another level, and look forward to producing players of the high standards set by the Galaxy academy.”
“The way youth soccer is going, an affiliation with an MLS club is important to complete the pathway,” said Michael Duggan, Carlsbad United Director of Operations. “We look forward to working with the LA Galaxy on developing the women’s side and know the Galaxy will be a huge benefit for us on the boys.”
Excited to announce this news, Duggan refers to Carlsbad United as the center of excellence for the LA Galaxy in San Diego.
“Instead of driving to LA, top players can train down here and develop and then join the LA Galaxy residential program if and when they are selected,” said Duggan.Earlier this month, the LA Galaxy opened the Blended Learning Environment – new high school currently meeting the needs of 50 students of various high school grade levels who are on the club’s U-16 and U-18 academy.
“This is truly an exciting opportunity for the soccer community in Carlsbad. It will elevate an already established program to an even a higher level of standards that is expected when you associate yourselves with such a great club like the LA Galaxy,” said Glenn Malone, Boys Directer. “We are going to be including the Galaxy training method into our program as well.”
“The Galaxy is the #1 brand in America as far as soccer is concerned,” said Duggan. “The club’s president, Chris Klein, has a powerful vision and he will continue to push this top MLS club to reach new levels of success. The LA Galaxy is absolutely known around the world. ”
The Galaxy’s star studded roster has included international soccer players David Beckham and now Steven Gerrard who, among others, delight and thrill fans — and, almost more importantly – grow the sport of soccer. Klein works closely with Galaxy’s Head Coach Bruce Arena and has always had a consistent interest in the success of the club’s academy and advancement of the youth game.
The partnership provides CUFC with a platform to enhance and further develop its existing club-wide curriculum and programming for players of all ages and levels and strengthens its coaching education program.
“The Galaxy continue to play a significant role in the development of the most talented youth players and coaches throughout Southern California,” said Jovan Kirovski, Technical Director of the LA Galaxy. “Committing to the development of youth soccer is extremely important and we are excited to continue to invest in the improvement of coaches and players across the country. Adding Carlsbad United FC demonstrates the value of our Alliance Program in reaching and engaging with youth teams across our region.”
Additionally, the partnership creates a clear opportunity for youth soccer player identification by the LA Galaxy Development Academy and collegiate athletics. Clearly, players at Carlsbad United will benefit from the higher level of exposure and support through shared resources and the LA Galaxy network.
As far as the women’s side of soccer, Duggan is committed to working with Klein and developing new programs. “We will start with a blank canvas and work together to forge a better pathway for female soccer in the USA,” said Duggan. Progress has already been made and a new U23 program for women will be launching in 2016. Duggan is well known for his commitment to providing opportunities to female soccer coaches and expanding opportunities on the girls side of the game.
“Its exciting news for our girls program as well as the coaching staff,” said Carl Higham, Girls Director. “Working directly with the Galaxy academy staff and sharing resources will help develop our coaching staff and will in turn improve our player development at every age-group and level of play in our club.”
“The future of youth soccer in America is shifting towards an alignment with the MLS,” said Cowell, CUFC Technical Director. “By partnering with one of the top MLS teams in the nation we are positioning ourselves to be on the cutting edge of future developments and opportunities in our sport.”
Through the program LA Galaxy has identified a select group of clubs in the region to partner with in developing a nationally recognized standard for player development. CUFC will be the exclusive San Diego County affiliate that will help carry out this vision.
The LA Galaxy Alliance Club Program was created to help grow and influence youth soccer in Southern California. The program establishes a unique relationship between the affiliate clubs – LA Galaxy South Bay, LA Galaxy Bakersfield, and LA Galaxy Conejo Valley — and the LA Galaxy which encompasses community programs, technical development, scouting, coaching and soccer operations, providing affiliate clubs with an unprecedented level of access to professional soccer expertise.
“As an MLS club, we want to play a role in developing future generations and growing our sport,” said LA Galaxy Technical Advisor, Rob Becerra. “We are excited about collaborating with such an experienced and forward thinking club who shares that passion for developing youth players.”
As the Galaxy’s newest Alliance club member, Carlsbad United was the original home of Galaxy Academy product Rey Ortiz, who signed with LA Galaxy Academy in 2014, and went on to lead the LA Galaxy Academy Under-16 team to the U.S. Soccer 2013-2014 Development Academy Championship. This season, Ortiz earned his first professional minutes when he appeared for LA Galaxy II in the United Soccer League (USL). Before joining the Galaxy Academy, Ortiz was with Carlsbad United for seven years.
Carlsbad Lightning and Carlsbad Wave merged to form Carlsbad United FC in December, 2013 – a move spearheaded by Duggan and Cowell to provide a youth soccer club for every player.
Carlsbad United F.C. vision then was simple – “Our vision is to be recognized as a ‘Pioneering Leader’ in total player development at local, regional and national levels, building character, confidence and self-esteem. Carlsbad United FC is committed to teaching values of sportsmanship, teamwork and respect through a positive learning environment. We offer player development for players desiring College Prep as well as those who want to play in a less stress/less competitive environment.”
“Carlsbad United has always been committed to providing the best opportunties to our players and it’s with great excitement and anticipation that we are partnering with LA Galaxy, an organization with tremendous respect and proven performance within the MLS community,” said Skye O’Grady, President of Carlsbad United.
The club has thrived since the merger, continuing to deliver on its promises. Now, after joining with the LA Galaxy’s program, the Carlsbad youth soccer club looks forward to being a part of the Galaxy’s goal of creating the best academy in the United States.
Carlsbad United will be changing their colors to reflect the LA Galaxy brand – navy, white and gold – in recognition of their partnership with the LA Galaxy.
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