LAFC announced today the signings of Academy products Tony Leone, Christian Torres and Erik Dueñas as the first three Homegrown players in Club history. Torres travelled with the team to Orlando and is available for participation in the MLS Is Back Tournament.
“Today marks a very special day for our entire organization, the LAFC Academy, the three players and their families,” said LAFC EVP & General Manager John Thorrington. “Erik, Tony and Christian have shown great development and have undoubtedly earned this opportunity. We look forward to helping them continue their progression at the MLS level.”
Leone, the 2018-19 USSDA Golden Ball winner, arrived at LAFC ahead of the 2017-18 campaign. In his first year with the Black & Gold, Leone tallied eight goals in 23 matches (all starts) for the U-14 side, A year later, Leone was named the best U-15 Academy player during the Playoffs and Championships and guided the U-15s to a 22-1-1 overall record. A dual citizen, Leone has been called in to various youth national team camps by the United States and Mexico, most recently participating in the first training camp of 2020 in March with Mexico’s U-17 side.
Dueñas joined the LAFC Academy as a member of the original U-12 group during its inception year in 2016. The El Monte, Calif. native also represented the Academy at the U-14, U-15 and U-16/17 levels, including 16 appearances during the 2019-20 season. In four seasons with LAFC, Dueñas tallied five goals in 104 matches across all competitions.
On February 12 of this year, Torres made history as the first LAFC Academy player to score a goal with the first team during a 3-1 preseason win over Toronto FC. In two years with the Academy, Torres notched 30 goals in 44 matches, including 3 goals during the Playoffs and Championships to capture the 2018-19 Golden Boot. Internationally, Torres represented the U.S. Youth National Teams at the Concacaf U-15 Boys' Championship last August.
“On behalf of the entire LAFC Academy, we would like to congratulate Tony, Christian and Erik on signing their first professional contracts,” said LAFC Academy Director Todd Saldaña. “All three players have worked incredibly hard to reach this moment, and we are extremely excited to see them take the next step in their careers. Huge credit to ownership, as well as our Soccer Operations and Academy staffs for their dedication to helping these young player have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.”
TRANSACTION: Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) signs the first three Homegrown players in Club history – Tony Leone, Christian Torres and Erik Dueñas.
Full Name: Antonio Leone
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthplace: Long Beach, CA
Citizenship: USA. Mexico
Full Name: Christian Torres
Weight: 140 lbs.
Birthplace: Fontana, CA
Full Name: Erik Dueñas
Weight: 120 lbs.
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA