Curt Onalfo will take charge of LA Galaxy II in USL Pro after being an assistant to Bruce Arena with the Galaxy's MLS side for the last three years.
Andy Mead/Icon SMI

CARSON, Calif. (AP) - The Los Angeles Galaxy are becoming the first team in Major League Soccer to operate a lower-division farm club.

The Galaxy said Wednesday it will create an LA Galaxy II that will compete in the United Soccer Leagues' Professional Division (USL Pro).

Curt Onalfo will be head coach of Galaxy II following three seasons as an assistant to Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. Like the Galaxy, the second-division team will play its home games at the StubHub Center, and players from the Galaxy will be able to be loaned to the third-tier club.

"The LA Galaxy are taking a monumental step for player development in North America," Galaxy president Chris Klein said in a team statement. "The creation of LA Galaxy II, through USL PRO, provides the Galaxy with a fully realized player development program starting with the Under-12 Academy teams through the LA Galaxy first team. The investment of AEG and the Galaxy in LA Galaxy II allows us to continue to develop the best players in Southern California and lessen the gap between the Academy and the LA Galaxy."

Other MLS teams have forged alliances with USL Pro teams, which allow the top-tier sides to loan a minimum of four players to their lower-tier affiliates.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.