LA Galaxy South Bay is a competitive club that develops some of the best players and teams in Southern California.
How are we different?
- LA Galaxy partnership provides a path to LA Galaxy USSDA Academy teams for boys, and additional resources and coaching support for the entire club
- proven, clubwide player development model that has produced three current LA Galaxy 1st team players
- emphasis on quality over quantity of teams
- full-time technical staff that “coach the coaches”
- core staff of experienced, full-time youth soccer coaches, many with national “A” or “B” licenses
- an age group rather than individual team focus that facilitates player identification and movement between teams at the club
- the best facilities in the South Bay
Let’s look deeper into some of these things that make us different from other clubs:
Partnership with LA Galaxy
We are the only LA County club in the LA Galaxy Academy Alliance (the other founding member is Orange County’s West Coast FC). The long term goal is to offer players a seamless transition between the two organizations. Top players from LA Galaxy South Bay will be able to move onto LA Galaxy USSDA (Academy) teams, and LA Galaxy South Bay teams will be able to draw from a larger talent pool and prepare players to compete for the Galaxy. On the girls side, we are able to use the Galaxy’s connections to provide more visibility and opportunities for our teams.
The Galaxy Academy is the official youth academy of the LA Galaxy. The Galaxy have signed multiple players directly from the Academy as Homegrown Players, including three from LA Galaxy South Bay and its predecessors: Jose Villarreal, Oscar Sorto, and Gyasi Zardes.
The LA Galaxy Academy Alliance is integral part of the pathway to playing for the LA Galaxy Academy. The Academy Alliance allows the Galaxy to better identify and develop the top young players throughout the Southland. At its core the Alliance will form the foundation of the Galaxy’s player pyramid, wherein affiliated youth clubs will provide players with the early foundations of the Galaxy technique and style of play. The clubs in the Alliance will share coaching resources, staff and best practices while working together to create a common curriculum and methodology for developing young players.
LA Galaxy President Chris Klein has said that “… the Galaxy Alliance will allow us to better identify and develop a greater number of players throughout the region. By aligning ourselves with some of the best youth soccer clubs in the area, we are in a position to create a central coaching philosophy and curriculum, allowing us to teach the finest youth soccer players in Southern California how to play the game the Galaxy way.”
Player Development and Success
The goal of the club is to provide players with the tools necessary to develop and reach their potential as soccer players. We focus on teaching technical skills, especially composure on the ball under pressure; tactical intelligence with an emphasis on possession; tenacious individual and team defending; and a committed work ethic. Our emphasis on player development can be seen many ways:
- numerous players on local high school teams
- we average over a dozen players selected for Cal South’s Pro+ (formerly “ODP” a/k/a Olympic Development Program) per year. Our players participate in all the major player identification programs
- we have numerous alumni playing in college, including major Division I schools such as Duke, UCLA, and Washington
- three players are on the US U18 / U20 / U23 national teams
- three recent players (Gyasi Zardes, Oscar Sorto, and Jose Villareal) are on the Galaxy roster, as is alumnus Robbie Rogers; Kei Kamara, Shannon Boxx and others are also current professional players
We offer our own goalkeeper training, run a program to prepare interested players and parents for the college recruitment process, and spend significant effort developing our coaching staff.
The club’s curriculum is implemented by one of the best coaching staffs in Southern California. Many are club soccer veterans who have spent years developing players like yours. The staff has professional and practical experience that includes coaching at MLS teams; NCAA Division I, II, and III schools; coaching ODP teams; developing successful club teams; and scouting at the state, regional, national, and professional levels. Their playing experience includes US and other national teams, Olympic teams, World Cup teams, MLS, and NCAA Division I teams. Many have shown their commitment to their profession by obtaining high-level USSF A or B licenses.
The club is by many measures the most successful soccer club in the South Bay. While we don’t emphasize winning games at the younger ages, the results of our approach can be seen in the success of our older teams, which include some of the best teams of any club in the state. LAGSB teams regularly play for league, Cal South, and tournament championships, and appear in the major showcase events such as Dallas Cup, Surf Cup, Nomads, Las Vegas Showcase, and Final Four Showcase. Since spring 2010, three of our teams have appeared in national finals, and they’ve won two of them.
Although our younger teams focus on player development rather than results, we currently have eight teams in the top twenty in their age group in Southern California (per GotSoccer.com) and others have achieved noteworthy success in league play and State / National Cup.
Where are you / where do you practice?
The club draws most of its players from the coastal LA County south of the 105 Freeway – the South Bay, Palos Verdes, and San Pedro. Practices are at fields throughout the region.
What league and brackets do your teams play in?
LA Galaxy South Bay is a founding member of SCDSL (Southern California Developmental Soccer league) and almost all LA Galaxy South Bay teams play in that league, which has teams from Santa Barbara to San Bernardino to San Diego. SCDSL divides teams into brackets so that teams of similar quality play each other. There are three “flights” or levels, so opponents are at a similar level. Teams chose which level they play at for the year and are not required to win/lose a certain percentage of game to move up or down.
Our top teams generally compete in top SCDSL bracket for their age group. You can see what bracket our teams are playing in at the SCDSL site or on our teams page.
Some our older teams also play in highly competitive leagues such as Cal South / Cal North’s California Regional League.
How many teams do you have in an age group?
We usually have three to five boys and girls teams in an age group, which for U-11 and up means 45-75 players of each gender. If enough good players in an age group try out, we add additional teams.
Do you teach a particular style or philosophy of play?
We focus on teaching both technical skills and tactical awareness. Our style of play requires progressive skill development, a commitment to the understanding of possession, and tenacious individual and team defending. At the youngest ages our coaches stress building the foundation for this style over wins.
Where / when can I watch your teams play?
During the fall, you can see a team’s schedule by visiting the list of all our teams at SCDSL website. Click on a team and you can see their fall schedule and results. Our individual team pages also have links to their league schedule.
At other times, you should contact the coaches in the age group you are interested in and ask them. Outside of the fall SCDSL season, teams play in tournaments all over Southern California (and beyond), so it is difficult to catch them locally.
What is the weekly time commitment? How long is the season?
Club soccer requires a significant time commitment from team players and their families. Teams typically practice two times per week for at least 90 minutes each. Practice fields are located in many South Bay cities from El Segundo to south Torrance.
The soccer season for U8-U13 players begins in March and continues through February of the following year. SCDSL play, with one or two games per weekend, begins in September and continues through early December. State and National Cup competition begins in February or March. There is typically a break during the early summer months (June or July) and during the December holiday season.
The soccer season for U14 – U18 teams differs slightly in that many teams take a hiatus from December to February so that players can participate in high school soccer. Those teams then restart training after high school soccer ends and go on to play State and National Cup competitions in April.
How much travel is involved?
During the SCDSL season it depends on the bracket a team plays in. In SCDSL Flight 1, there are fewer teams in an age group — usually eight to twelve teams in a region stretching from Santa Barbara to (sometimes) San Diego to San Bernardino — so teams may travel anywhere in that triangle for an away game. In Flights 2 and 3, there are more teams, so they are closer together and travel for games is less.
In addition to SCDSL League games, teams will participate in tournaments that are played all over Southern California. Older teams and teams advancing in National Cup may travel around the country.