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Volume 26 No. 181
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LaLiga Growing Awareness In U.S. Via Youth Initiatives

LaLiga will today announce a development partnership with the LA Breakers FC youth soccer club for the '19-20 season. The partnership is LaLiga and Relevent Sports Group's next step in their mission to grow awareness of Spain's top soccer flight in the U.S. LaLiga North America CEO Boris Gartner said California, with its large Spanish-speaking population, is an area of particular interest to the league. LaLiga's project commenced today when more than 30 Breakers coaches took part in a 10-hour LaLiga Coaching Methodology Master Class. Gartner said the league views its coaches as something it can export to grow soccer in the U.S. "We were very clear that one key pillar of our strategy was growth at the grassroots level," Gartner said. Additional activations this season include talent identification, a trip to Spain where Breakers teams will play Spanish youth clubs, and gameday activations and special giveaways. The LA Breakers formed in '18 via the merger of FC LA and Westside Breakers, and includes nearly 700 players within its ranks. Breakers FC Dir of Girls Coaching Richard Simms said, "We're proud of our brand, so we weren't trying to rebrand. It was about finding an organization that was hitting the notes we were falling short on." LaLiga is the first league to undertake such an endeavor. It already launched academies in Toronto and Miami and plans on forming more partnerships like the Breakers deal with other North American youth clubs in the coming years.