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Galaxy plans USL Pro minor-league team to boost player development

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The Galaxy plans to form a team in the USL Pro minor-league soccer series to bolster its development of players for the big-league club, the Times has learned.

The team will be called Galaxy II and will play its home games at StubHub Center in Carson, just as the Galaxy does, according to people familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

They said an official announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

The Galaxy would be the first Major League Soccer team to own and operate its own USL Pro team. Curt Onalfo, a Galaxy assistant coach, is expected to be named head coach of the Galaxy II, the sources said.

The Galaxy II, which plans to start play this season, would be the 14th team in USL Pro, which has a 28-game season. The league's existing teams include the LA Blues, whose home field is Titan Stadium at Cal State Fullerton.

Galaxy officials believe the creation of the Galaxy II will make it easier to move players directly from their 18-and-under youth soccer academies into the Galaxy's professional ranks, and to move players between the MLS club and the USL Pro team.

The idea would be similar to a triple-A affiliate in Major League Baseball, and some European soccer teams such as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona already have a similar structure to develop young players for the pro ranks.

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