Todd Saldaña

Academy Director

LAFC Academy Director Todd Saldaña is responsible for overseeing all technical and developmental aspects of the academy, and maintaining a player pathway from the academy to LAFC’s professional levels, including the LAFC first team.

Known for his long history of player development, Saldaña has played an integral part in the progress of soccer in southern California and the greater U.S., having played, scouted, coached, and developed players who have gone on to play professionally overseas, as well as in MLS, and for the United States, El Salvador and New Zealand mens national teams.

Saldaña joined LAFC from the United States Soccer Federation where he served as the U.S. Technical Advisor for the Southwest Region. His role included player identification and evaluation, academy development, and working with various Youth National Teams. While with the Federation, he also worked both as a U.S. Player Scout and Team Opponent Scout for the U.S Men’s National Team under former Head Coach Juergen Klinsmann.

Saldaña has also spent significant time working with and studying youth academies in the U.S. and abroad including FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia CF, Villarreal CF, Atlético Madrid and OGC Nice.

Born and raised in Redondo Beach, Calif., Saldaña attended South Torrance High School. As a youth player, he represented the United States, playing with the U.S U-15, U-17, U-20, and U-23 national teams, including the U-20 team’s debut in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. He began his professional playing career when he was drafted out of high school at age 17 by the Los Angeles Aztecs under the direction of legendary Dutch coach Rinus Michels.

Saldaña holds a United States Soccer Federation ‘A’ license.

Christopher Cuellar

Academy Coach

A California native, Cuellar adds a wealth of knowledge in player development with 15 years of experience working for the Mexican Football Federation. In his time in Mexico, Cuellar led various youth national team age groups and helped prepare players for the highest levels of competition. He now brings his passion and experience to LAFC and looks to guide players on their career path to the professional ranks.

Abraham Jacinto

Academy Coach

Originally from Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, Jacinto focuses primarily on the Academy’s U-12 and U-11 age groups. He joined LAFC from Boca OC. He currently holds a USSF ‘A’ license.

Marius Rus

Academy Coach

Originally from Romania, Rus was a standout youth coach in Southern California with AC Brea before joining LAFC. Rus adds an important layer to the Academy’s player identification and developmental process and currently holds a USSF ‘B’ license.

Academy Staff Coach: Michael Jacobson

Academy Goalkeeper Staff Coach: Adrian Padilla

Academy Scout: Gabriel Lucatero

Academy Scout: Mario Ayala

Academy Scout: Hector Garcia

Academy Scout: Joey Yusumas