LA Galaxy Academy names Dallas Cup roster, opens play on Sunday
The LA Galaxy Academy has selected 22 players to represent the club at the 34th annual Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup. One of the most prestigious international youth tournaments in the world, Dallas Cup consists of seven age-groups from the Under-13 to Under-19 level and entertains an average of more than 160,000 spectators during the week of play.
The Galaxy Academy roster is highlighted by nine players that have played for the Galaxy in an MLS Reserve League or preseason game in the last two years, including defenders Oscar Sorto, Matt Tilley and Javan Torre; midfielders Paul Arriola, Grady Howe, Raul Mendiola and Drew Murphy; and forwards Justin Dhillon and Sebastian Velasquez. Sorto, 18, is the lone Galaxy Homegrown player on the roster having signed with the first team last December.
Of the 22 players on the roster, four recently completed their freshman seasons with their college teams but are still part of the Galaxy Academy system and eligible to be signed as Homegrown players. Three of those players hail from UCLA with goalkeeper Juan Cervantes, who played five games for the Bruins last season, Grady Howe, who started 16 of the 19 games he played in, and Javan Torre, who played in 12 games during his freshman season at UCLA and last month helped the U.S. Under-20 National Team qualify for this Summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, all named to the squad. UC Irvine defender Matthew Tilley, who started 13 of the 17 games he appeared in for the Anteaters last season, rounds out the college quartet. All four players were a part of last year’s Galaxy Academy team that won the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-18 SoCal Division title and advanced to the Development Academy U-18 Playoffs.
Other notable players on the roster include goalkeeper Josh McNeely and former U.S. U-17 defender Nathan Smith as well as forwards Justin Dhillon and Jaime Villarreal, the younger brother of LA Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal. Jaime Villarreal scored 19 goals for the Academy last season and combined with Dhillon, who scored a team-high 22 goals, to lead the Galaxy to the Development Academy U-16 playoffs and win the U-16 SoCal Division title for a second consecutive season.
Coached by former MLS defender Alex Yi, the Galaxy Academy team will travel to Dallas Saturday, March 23.
This year, Dallas Cup XXXIV is being held from March 24-31 at the Cotton Bowl, Richland College and the University of Texas at Dallas. The Galaxy Academy are playing in the in the invitation-only Gordon Jago Under-19 Super Group, along with the likes of Manchester United, Club America and other top clubs from England, Germany and Brazil. They begin tournament play on Sunday, March 24 against Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany at the Cotton Bowl at 10:30 a.m. (PT).
The Galaxy’s game against Eintracht Frankfurt will be carried live by Time Warner Deportes, which will be carrying all nine of the Super Group games that are being played at the Cotton Bowl, including the semifinals and finals, which are scheduled for March 29 and March 31. In addition to Eintracht Frankfurt, the Galaxy will also face Fulham FC on March 25 at 10 a.m. (PT) on the University of Texas at Dallas campus and defending Dallas Cup champions Coritiba FC on March 27 at 2 p.m. (PT) on the campus of Richland College in the Group Stage.
LA Galaxy Academy Dallas Cup XXXIV Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Juan Cervantes, Josh McNeely, Daniel Slepukhin.
DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Marlow, Vincent Reyes, Juan Reyna, Nathan Smith, Oscar Sorto, Matt Tilley, Javan Torre, Ivan Velasquez.
MIDFIELDERS (6): Paul Arriola, Bryan Guzman, Grady Howe, Raul Mendiola, Drew Murphy, William Raygoza,
FORWARDS (5): Justin Dhillon, Lucas Da Silva, Aaron Lombardi, Sebastian Velasquez, Jaime Villarreal.
HEAD COACH: Alex Yi