LAFC and Real So Cal Soccer Club announced today the formation of LAFC So Cal Youth, a partnership that extends LAFC’s player development expertise to the over 4,000 youth soccer players in the Real So Cal and West Valley Soccer League (WVSL) program.
“The LAFC So Cal Youth partnership is incredibly important to us,” said LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington. “Our Club strives to be a force for good – not just for those players that are already in our Academy, but for all players and parents in the youth soccer landscape in Southern California, and this is an important next step.”
A prominent and competitive youth club since 2006, Real So Cal Soccer Club boasts numerous championship teams and players who have moved on to the college and professional level. Now, all LAFC So Cal Youth teams will wear the Black & Gold of LAFC and have access to professional staff and player development methods and training.
“When you think of soccer in the city of Los Angeles, you think of LAFC,” said LAFC So Cal Youth Program Director Alberto Bru. “By becoming LAFC So Cal Youth, we are now aligned with a tremendous, high quality professional club that will be able to share its expertise, resources and leadership.”
LAFC So Cal Youth is part of the MLS Youth Affiliate Network in partnership with adidas.
“We are really excited to see the partnership evolve and for players and their families to experience the program; whether that is through the education platforms or the pathway to playing in MLS,” adidas Soccer Sports Marketing Director Skate Noftsinger said. “Through the adidas youth affiliate network LAFC and Real So Cal will change youth soccer in Southern California.”
Together, LAFC So Cal Youth will work to create the best youth soccer experience possible, while also focusing on a clear pathway to the LAFC Academy for elite players.
“It feels like a natural fit,” LAFC Academy Director Todd Saldana said. “For a long time, they have been a front runner and ahead of the game in the youth market. This partnership gives us an opportunity to work with even more players and impact their player development program and get players even more prepared for the next level.”
The LAFC Academy launched in 2016 and now has five teams from U-12 to U-17. LAFC signed its first three Academy players in 2020, with 16-year olds Christian Torres, Erik Duenas and Tony Leone becoming the first Academy Home Grown signings in Club history.