About the LAFC Academy
With a focus on developing world class players and people, LAFC’s Academy provides a professional pathway for elite players with the potential to become a Homegrown player for LAFC. Originally launched with a single U12 age group in 2016, LAFC’s Academy is a fully funded program that not only allows greater access to the game, but is guided by a collection of globally successful coaches and leaders. LAFC’s Academy now features seven age groups: U11-U19. Although still young in its existence, the Academy has already produced the Club’s first Homegrown players, as well as multiple players representing Youth National teams, and a CONCACAF championship. As the development of the LAFC Academy continues, its players continue to work hard to proudly represent Los Angeles on and off the field.
After the dissolution of the US Soccer Development Academy system in April 2020, LAFC Academy announced its inclusion in the US’s newest elite youth academy system, MLS NEXT. MLS NEXT’s mission is to provide the best player development experience in North America. Through a unique approach to collaborative governance and a commitment to innovation, MLS NEXT will provide an environment in which players receive the highest level of competition while acquiring the training and personal development that will prepare them for their future, both in soccer and in life. The competition platform incorporates more than 9,000 players, in six age groups, across 113 clubs, including 30 MLS professional academies, five USL academies and 78 additional elite academies. For more information about MLS NEXT, visit MLSNEXT.soccer.
Although the LAFC Academy was relegated to the sidelines for most of 2020 as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Academy success was realized on the LAFC First Team for the first time ever.
First-ever Homegrown LAFC Academy products signed to the First-Team in Club history:
- Tony Leone, Christian Torres and Erik Dueñas
First-ever Homegrown LAFC Academy product earning MLS minutes
- Christian Torres – 8/30/20 – LAFC at Seattle Sounders
First-ever Homegrown LAFC Academy product logging a start in MLS
- Christian Torres - 10/14/20 LAFC at Vancouver Whitecaps
First-ever Homegrown LAFC Academy product scoring an MLS goal
- Christian Torres – 10/19/20 LAFC at Portland Timbers
Third-youngest player ever to appear in an MLS match
- Erik Dueñas (15 years, 362 days) - 10/14/20 LAFC at Vancouver Whitecaps