IRVINE, CA - LA Galaxy OC, an official Alliance club of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer (MLS), have announced plans to enter a team in United Women's Soccer (UWS) in 2018. LA Galaxy OC boasts over 70 competitive youth soccer teams, and a recreation program with over 2000 players. The LA Galaxy OC Women's Team will compete in the UWS West Conference when the league kicks off this May.
"We are excited to expand our West Conference," said League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. "Our goal is to accept organizations that meet our quality standards and a professional group such as LA Galaxy OC fits that description and then some."
"LA Galaxy OC is the fastest growing soccer club in Southern California, and the addition of a women's team competing in UWS is another huge step forward for us as a club," said LA Galaxy OC Director of Operations Tim Woodcock. "We are proud to be bringing a team to UWS. We have a strong girls program at our club, and this will not only strengthen the program, but provide an opportunity for top female players to play beyond club soccer."
LA Galaxy OC will have a test on their hands in the UWS West, as it has seen a highly competitive slate of games over the past two seasons with two-time conference winners Santa Clarita Blue Heat leading the way. Santa Clarita almost defended their 2016 United Women's Soccer title this past summer, but lost to Grand Rapids FC in double-overtime in the 2017 UWS Final, ending their season with only one loss.
In 2016, the UWS West was won in the 94th minute of the final regular season game when the Houston Aces were knocked out by the Colorado Pride. Santa Clarita went on to defeat New Jersey Copa FC in the UWS Final in the 119th minute of play. Real Salt Lake Women capitalized on their affiliation with its MLS-side to lead UWS in attendance. Only a draw due to a second-half stoppage time goal denied them from winning the West.
UWS was formed late in 2015 under the belief that there was a gap in development between the collegiate and professional & international ranks. A dedicated Tier 2 league was needed. UWS fills that gap with a summer season that helps the collegiate player enhance their skills for fall competition while giving the post-collegiate player a chance to further develop for the professional & international game.
For more information on LA Galaxy OC, visit lagalaxyoc.com.
About United Women’s Soccer (UWS): UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer through the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Media can contact UWS Director of Communications Jorma Kansanen by e-mail at UWSPress@gmail.com. You can visit the league’s official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.