Tristan Bowen Becomes First Player To Sign From Youth Development Initiative

ThomasSenior Writer INovember 12, 2008

Congratulations Tristan Bowen, you are the first player to be signed from the Galaxy's youth system.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles announced that they had signed Californian native, Tristan Bowen, to its Developmental Roster. Tristan was signed as part of the program Generation Adidas, meaning that his salary won't count toward the club's total salary.

Bowen has been a part of the Youth Development Initiative, which was started in November 2006. The program helps MLS clubs find talent in local regions. Currently, the Gals have youth clubs in the U-18 and U-16 sections of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. They also have an U-20 club in the USL U-20 league. Since the program's inception, more than 70 players have been identified by the club and today play in the program for the U-16, U-18 or U-20 teams, with no players having to pay the registration fees that are typically associated with similar club soccer programs.

Tristan Bowen is a forward who has been with the U-18 and U-20 US National Team.  He joined the Gal's youth program after an open tryout back in February of 2007. Bowen was a member of the U-17 teams that represented the Galaxy at the 2007 and 2008 SUM Under-17 Cup in Colorado, as well as one of the top scorers for the Galaxy U-20 team that won the USL Super-20 League title this season. starts. He is eligible to play for the club during the club's friendly against an Oceania All-Star Team in Auckland, New Zealand on December 6 and will be eligible to make his MLS debut during the 2009 campaign. Bowen has already played four Reserve Division matches this year for the club.

Prior to the Galaxy leaving for New Zealand, Bowen will accompany the U.S. Under-20 National Team to Madrid, Spain for a week-long training camp from Nov. 15-23. Bowen and the U.S. will play friendlies against reserve teams from Real Madrid (Nov. 19), Athletico Madrid (Nov. 20) and Rayo Vallecano to round out the trip on Nov. 22.

At the announcement, Bowen told reporters: "I'm really excited to be signing with the Galaxy so that I can stay at home here in Los Angeles. It's been a great experience training with the first team and with the academy and I'm looking forward to getting started. It really hasn't set in but it feels great. It's an honor to be the first player to move up from the academy to the first team and I can only hope for the best.