On Sunday, Axel Mendez and Alejandro Vergara cross the threshold.
The two Chivas USA U16 starters will join the growing list of players who have played in the Mini-SuperClasico, the common vernacular for the Chivas USA-LA Galaxy rivalry at the youth level, for both teams.
Mendez and Vergara are both promising prospects, but they are a minor part of a friendly rivalry that has intensified on and off the field over the last few years.
Originally, these Mini-SuperClasico games were not much different than most youth soccer games. Parents came and cheered. College coaches occasionally showed up and took notes. And the passion on the field was just beyond listless.
However, with the growing fan bases at both organizations, the games have turned into real spectacle with supporters, actual admirers of the game, lining the sidelines.
Over the years, both Galaxy and Chivas USA have put more priority into their youth teams, which has lead to these games featuring the who’s who of aspiring soccer players in Southern California.
U.S. U18 Men’s National Team forward Paul Arriola is just one of the rising number of youth national team players who have joined Galaxy recently. Arriola has yet to make his debut with the club though due to a lingering injury.
Chivas USA is no slouch either with a number of youth national team prospects of their own on both the U16 and U18 team.
Sunday’s fixture at the Home Depot Center will be full of talent with some avid fans cheering them on.
Players Development Academy U18 puts it perfect 3-0-0 record on the line this weekend when it hosts Virginia Rush. PDA has not given up a goal this season while scoring nine.
McLean Youth Soccer U18 is looking to hold onto the second spot in the Atlantic Division standings when it travels to NJSA 04 on Saturday. Matthew Ledder leads the Virginia club in scoring with four goals on the year.
In the Northeast Division, New York Red Bulls U18 host Seacoast United on Sunday. The Red Bulls have used a balanced scoring attack to race out to a 3-0-1 record with Vincent Brunetti, Kyle Goodwin, Alex Muyl, Erik Sa, and Ismar Tandir all scoring this season.
The MLS Academy also holds the top spot in the U16 age group with a perfect 4-0-0 record. Derrick Etienne and Harrison Steadman led the young Bulls in scoring with three goals a piece.
Weston FC hosts Concorde Fire in a meeting between two of the top teams in the Southeast Division. The Florida club is 3-1-1 this season with striker Nicholas Pappacena’s six goals leading the way.
In the younger age group, South Carolina United Battery Academy travels up to North Carolina for a game against Charlotte Soccer Academy. Speedster Rex Epps leads the Battery in scoring with four goals this season.
Sporting Kansas City continues to dominate the competition with perfect 4-0-0 records in both age groups. The MLS Academy hosts Real Colorado on Saturday in a Frontier Division matchup.
The Dallas Derby is also on the docket with FC Dallas taking on Solar Chelsea SC at FC Dallas Sports Park on Saturday. FC Dallas has rolled off two wins in both age groups to start the season.
U.S. youth national teamer Aaron Meyer paces the FC Dallas U16 team with four goals on the year. Solar U16 has its own breakout scoring threat with midfielder Nathanael Rennhack scoring three goals in his first three games.
Chicago Fire makes the trek into Minnesota this weekend with games against Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy and Minnesota Thunder Academy. Fire U18 striker Jeffrey Farina leads the nation in scoring with eight goals in four games.
In Michigan, Crew Soccer Academy Wolves host Sockers FC and FC Milwaukee this weekend. CSA Wolves is the top team in the Mid-American Division for the U16 age group with a 3-0-1 record.
Real Salt Lake AZ makes it first trip to Southern California this weekend with games against San Diego Surf and Nomads SC on the docket. RSL AZ is undefeated in both age groups with the U16 team holding an unblemished 3-0-0 record. U.S. U15 Boys National Team midfielder Sebastian Saucedo is leading the charge with five goals this season.