Friday, April 9, 2010

Academy Teams Get First Results of England Tour

The LA Galaxy Youth Academy teams collected their first win and draw of their English tour, playing Ipswich Town to a 2-2 draw and earning a 3-0 victory. Ipswich manager Roy Keane watched a half of each game and surely came away impressed with a number of the Galaxy youngsters as they continued to grow, improve and adapt to the game since arriving in England a week ago.

The two Galaxy teams primarily stayed with their U-16 and U-18 setups, though a few players from each squad played for the other, to ensure that all players were receiving quality minutes and on field experience.

The team that was primarily made up of U-18's fell behind 2-0 inside their game's opening 30 minutes, with Ipswich scoring twice from close range. Additionally, goalkeeper Omar Zeenni had to make a pair of extraordinary stops to keep the deficit at two.

Despite the wealth of chances against them, the Galaxy had been the better of the teams, but could not convert any of their chances until Eric Verso got his first goal of the tour just before the half.

LA continued to run the game in the second half, missing a few chances to equalize before Christian Alvarado grabbed his second goal in as many games to make the score 2-2. Riley Wolfe and Neil Ignacio, a U-16 forward who terrorized the Manchester City and Ipswich Town defenses, nearly grabbed the winner for LA, only to see their shots flash wide or saved by the keeper to let the game end 2-2.

On another field at Ipswich's training ground, T.J. Casner scored twice, once on either side of halftime and Juan Mendoza added another in a convincing 3-0 victory.

Similar teams will play West Ham's U-16's and U-17's tomorrow at Little Heath before heading over to Wembley for the FA Cup Semifinal between Aston Villa and Chelsea. The bus leaves early in the morning, making for a long day for all the players, but it will surely be an experience that they will never forget.

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