Time for our latest Chivas USA Academy update! More U.S. National Team coverage, and more games for the Junior Goats.
First, in our last update we mentioned how one player still officially affiliated with the CUSA Academy, forward Ulysses Llanez, was called up to the U.S. U-14 team for a camp and series of scrimmages in Spain. Well, things seem to be going pretty well for him, as he scored three goals in two games against some pretty impressive competition.
The U-14s took on the mighty Real Madrid, with a senior team known for buying Galacticos but who have produced a quality pro or two from time to time, last week, with the U.S. winning 2-0. Llanez scored both goals for the visitors, with one set up by former Academy teammate John Hilton.
Then, Llanez came off the bench in the second half in the second game of the trip, against Rayo Vallecano, and scored the final goal in a 4-0 win in a shortened 70-minute game.
He's obviously young, but racking up the goals on the Spanish trip is certainly helping Llanez get his name out there:
Final: USYNT U14s beat Real Madrid 2-0. Ulysses 'lil Neymar' Llanez with both goals. That a boy! pic.twitter.com/veRbi4WaFi— Gary Kleiban (@3four3) February 10, 2015
In other news, the Chivas USA U-17s played in the latest round of the Generation adidas Cup over the weekend in LA. The tournament pits the MLS Academies against one another, and in this regional round, the Goats had three games to determine whether they would go to the national tournament in April.
They ended up splitting their games for the weekend, beating the Seattle Sounders U-17s 2-0 on Saturday, before losing to the Portland Timbers U-17s 3-1 on Sunday. They had a final game on Monday morning against the San Jose Earthquakes U-17s, and although the result has not been released publicly that I could find, based on the points they had heading into the game, and the fact that at least two teams finished ahead of them on points, means they won't be moving on to the final tournament.
Finally, an update on a former CUSA Academy player and what could have been. Midfielder Ryo Fujii was part of Mike Munoz's talented U-16 team a few years back that moved en masse to the LA Galaxy. Like his Chivas-to-Galaxy Academy teammate Bradford Jamieson IV, Fujii, who played collegiately at UC Santa Barbara last year, signed a pro deal last week, though not the same as Jamieson's, who was an MLS Homegrown signing. Instead, Fujii has signed a deal with the club's LA Galaxy II team, which plays in USL, and as part of the deal the Galaxy will pay for his tuition to continue his college studies at nearby Cal State University Dominguez Hills. It's a unique deal and it will be interesting in the grand scheme of things to see how it works out. Although it is a case of another Junior Goat switching sides, given that Chivas USA only exists in Academy form now anyway means a player like Fujii would not have been in line for a pro deal had he not made the move. And this should give some more incentive for LAFC to start thinking about not only building an MLS team, but also a thriving academy, as well as a USL team.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!