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Galaxy academy star Arriola joins Tijuana
May 3rd, 2013 7:13PM

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TAGS:  americans abroad, los angeles galaxy, mexico

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[AMERICANS ABROAD] Forward Paul Arriola, who starred in the LA Galaxy Academy program and spent the spring with the MLS club's first team, will forgo plans to attend UCLA in the fall to sign with Club Tijuana. The U.S. U-18 international is the sixth American to sign with the Mexican club and the third Galaxy academy player to go abroad in the last year.

Arriola played for the Galaxy's U/17-18s last weekend, scoring his fifth goal of the season in a 6-1 win over San Diego Surf. He played for the USA at the 2011 U-17 World Cup in Mexico, starting three matches. He previously played for his hometown Chula Vista Rangers and Arsenal FC.

He had trained with Tijuana this winter and began the process of obtaining Mexican citizen through his grandfather.

Former U.S. U-17 teammates Alejandro Guido and Steve Rodriguez are at Tijuana. Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Greg Garza play for the first team, while Guido made the bench for the Xolos' Liga MX game last weekend.

Two U.S. U-20 World Cup candidates -- starting forward Mario Rodriguez at German second division club Kaiserslautern and central defender Jeffrey Payeras at Guatemalan club Municipal -- also left the Galaxy academy for foreign clubs.

Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski is not happy with the exodus of players, telling Adam Serrano of LA Galaxy Insider:

"He came through our youth academy and our program, we offered him a contract, but he obviously felt that it was better, he got more money or a better team and went on to Tijuana. That's the gap that we have in our system now where we have a lot of these players that are coming through our academy, we can't secure them and anybody outside of MLS or outside the country can sweep them up and take them. That's something that we really have to look into. We spend a lot of resources and a lot time in developing these players and that's one thing that we as a league need to look into and see how we can fix that. That will be even more of a problem going down the road from here as our academy gets better and our players get better."



4 comments
  1. Aresenal Fan
    commented on: May 4, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.
    Well maybe you need to pay more. Pathetic pay at MLS for young players
  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 4, 2013 at 1:53 p.m.
    How long was this player under Galaxy ?? And how long was he with his previous 2 clubs?? Anyone??
  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: May 4, 2013 at 1:54 p.m.
    How about Mario and Jeffrey ?? How long were they there??
  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: May 5, 2013 at 1:39 p.m.
    Number of rather obvious things to attack!!! (1) As Arsenal Fan mentions, the pay for promising players needs to be improved dramatically. Just a thought----instead of paying millions for second rate old-timers, why not use the money to incent some young players to stick with MLS. Watching a young star develop can be just as entertaining as watching some old guy enter retirement. Plus for the MLS team it can help build interest in "home-grown" players. (2) I know that "style" issues raise some people's hackles but it's worth considering when dealing with young Hispanic players. If you were raised to enjoy a certain style of play and two teams were soliciting your choice and one played the style that you were raised to enjoy and the other didn't---where would you go? This is no different than a football (US) player choosing to attend a school that emphasizes a certain style of play (Passing vs running). MLS is improving its skill level (certain teams at least) so this should eventually help to attract other skillful players. (3) Finally, MLS needs to show these players that they are actually interested in them long term. The fact that Kirovski can say, "That's something we really have to look into." certainly implies that enough attention has not yet been given to this issue.

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