LA Galaxy Nabs 2-1 Victory vs. Georgia United in First Summer Showcase Featured Game

Westfield, Ind. (June 20, 2016) - Southern California powerhouse LA Galaxy and Southeastern talent producers Georgia United opened up the 2017 Development Academy Summer Showcase and Playoffs in thrilling fashion on Tuesday, with the MLS side coming out on top, 2-1 behind a pair of goals from forward Marco Ceja.

After a scoreless 38 minutes of play in the first half, Galaxy forward Marco Ceja ended the drought with an all-star finish from a set piece opportunity. After a late Georgia United challenge and act of hustle from Galaxy midfielder Ramses Martinez, a free kick chance was set up for forward Kobe Hernandez-Foster. After a quick exchange with Martinez, Hernandez-Foster whipped in a beautiful cross to the back post. With no one immediately marking him as he back-pedaled to meet the ball, Ceja swung his right boot across his body, perfectly timing his effort to beat Georgia United keeper Daniel Guzman-Mendez.

"I think the U.S. Soccer Development Academy provides us with a great platform for these guys to play different teams," LA Galaxy U-14 head coach Andrew May said. "Our region is very good, and it is competitive, but now all of a sudden you get out here and you play a team from Georgia. We are going to play New York City tomorrow, and then later we play Dallas. The Showcase gives us that opportunity to play these different teams, challenge ourselves and see what the competition is all about."

In the second half, Georgia United continued to fight and found their equalizer in the 46th minute. Using a buildup of passes to create their own attacking opportunity, Orrett Maine Jr. carried the ball down the right side before sending a dangerous ball towards the middle of the field, near the top of the box, in hopes of connecting with a Georgia United attacker. As the ball came through, midfielder Matthews Braga drew in the Galaxy defense with a dummy run, letting the ball skip through his legs to set up a slashing Colin Thomas, who used his first touch to settle the ball and his second to strike it past the goalkeeper.

With both teams continuing to battle until the very last whistle, the game would be settled in stoppage time. In the 80+1 minute, while continuing to pressure the Georgia United defense in the attacking third, Ceja would earn his chance at a second goal. After substitute Marcos Isidoro sent a flick on to a charging Ceja, Ceja had no doubt about the attempt, beating the keeper to the near post. The goal sealed the deal for the LA Galaxy, and gave Ceja his fifth goal of the season.

"You always have to take advantage of when you get to play against different teams," Ceja said. "It presents a different style and more competition. Our team stuck through till the end. At halftime, we were told to press more to win the ball. And we did that. We stuck to our plan, dug deep and luckily we got the second goal."

The LA Galaxy U-14 squad will go on to face New York City FC and FC Dallas for their two remaining Summer Showcase games, while Georgia United will look to bounce back in their two games against Albion SC and De Anza Force.