The LA Galaxy announced on Tuesday a new plan to flesh out a girls academy program. While the Galaxy already had affiliate arrangements locally around Southern California, their new set-up will include a fully-funded program for girls, to match the boys academy at the club, as well as what appears to be a hierarchical set-up with a regional LA Galaxy team playing in the girls development academy which will kick off in just under a year’s time.
What does this mean? Why is the Los Angeles Football Club blog reporting on it? Well, it appears the local MLS clubs are both getting serious about girls soccer and including them in the development pipeline in Southern California, competing with each other and the numerous other successful girls academies in the region, in the absence of an NWSL team and academy, has to be a good thing for women’s soccer in the region and in the country.
This is not to take away from the independent academy programs, some of whom I’m sure are turning their noses up at the new kids on the block. And time will tell if LAFC and the Galaxy academies can churn out professionals one day.
But the element of jumping into girls soccer, with the competition already strong between the two organizations, should help spur new advances and top-notch environments for women’s soccer in the long run. And that’s a good thing for all women’s soccer fans.
Of course, this also brings up the question regarding the future of NWSL in Los Angeles. With LAFC reported to be bullish, if not officially in yet, on a future NWSL team, it appears the Galaxy are mulling over possibilities, too.
Charles Boehm’s report last month on LAFC planning to start an NWSL team in 2018 included a key tidbit that the Galaxy were not imminently interested in pursuing women’s pro soccer, which was unsurprising considering the Los Angeles Sol, the previous women’s pro soccer team owned by the Galaxy’s owners AEG, lasted just one season before folding.
But it seems the flicker of interest from the Galaxy has intensified, according to a tweet from FourFourTwo’s Jeff Kassouf in light of the Galaxy girls academy announcement on Tuesday:
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
So we’ll see what this means for NWSL in Los Angeles moving forward.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!