Cosmos Academy West disbands; joins Chivas USA Academy

A U.S. Soccer spokesman revealed to that the Cosmos Academy West is dismantling after one season in the Development Academy.
Cosmos Academy West is folding just five weeks prior to the 2011-12 Development Academy season. U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe confirmed the news exclusively to on Monday that the club from La Canada, Calif, which had partnered with the perennial figure of New York soccer, had disbanded just months after splitting from Los Angeles Premier FC.

Buethe also confirmed that Cosmos Academy West as a club would be engulfed by the Chivas USA Academy for the upcoming season.

Cosmos Academy U-18 Development Academy team made the playoffs last year out of the very competitive SoCal Division, but lost out on advancing to Finals Week on the final day of playoffs. Head coach Dan Calichman was voted as the coach of the year for that region and age group. The younger U-16 team failed to make the playoffs but included promising young talent Martin Arrieta, who notched 18 goals last season.

The news of the Cosmos Academy West folding is shocking, as the club was one of the founding members of the new Southern California league, SCDSL, which is set to begin play in the coming months.

Chivas USA and Cosmos were unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.

Update: In a press release issued on Tuesday, the New York Cosmos said that the separation from the youth academy in Los Angeles was another step toward the ultimate goal of bringing a professional soccer team to New York City.

"It is important for us to continually restructure and reconsider our strategy as we get closer and more focused on our long-term goals and objectives. Unfortunately, in the direction we are headed, Cosmos Academy West will not be able to function or exist given the parameters that a professional soccer team in New York City must follow."

MLS rules are rather strict about the placement of satellite youth academies within the territory of other MLS clubs. 

"It is our goal to play in Major League Soccer in New York City. Therefore, we have decided that the closure of the academy this year will allow the area's players, coaches and parents to make decisions that will affect their futures in the most proper manner."

The press release went on to say that both players and coaches would have the opportunity to transition into the Chivas USA youth system for the coming season.

"We have coordinated a transition with Chivas USA of Los Angeles in order to ensure that both our coaches and staff will have an opportunity to continue working within the academy system in Southern California, and most importantly, giving our players the chance to join and play for a team that currently has a direct affiliation with Major League Soccer."

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