The dining area of the LAFC Performance Center was buzzing.
On most days, players arrive a couple at a time, greeting staff and one another before tucking into a pre-training breakfast. There's a few televisions on, some light music, but it's generally an easing into the day. By mid-morning on Wednesday, the room was full of chatter and laughing.
The 2004 LAFC Academy team arrived into two large vans and made a beeline for breakfast. One day out from the first Development Academy playoffs match in Club history, the boys were treated to start their day the same way the first team does every morning.
"Being a part of a Club like LAFC, it was always important that our players see the first team alignment," LAFC Academy Manager Tony Vigil said. "The first team staff invited us here today to give a proper send off."
During breakfast, the Academy players mingled with first team players, staff, and coaches, including head coach Bob Bradley and LAFC GM John Thorrington. After breakfast, the team boarded the two vans once more for a trip down to the site of the DA playoffs in Oceanside, Calif.
Joining LAFC are seven other academy sides vying for the national championship in the 2004 age group. The eight teams are separated into two groups of four. The winner of each group will play in the final to decide the Development Academy champ. LAFC kicks off its group on June 20 against the Philadelphia Union Academy - a match that will be streamed on online.
The LAFC Academy's full schedule is below - All matches at SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside, CA:
June 20 | LAFC vs Philadelphia Union at 1:00pm - Stadium Field
June 21 | LAFC vs Chicago Fire at 5:15pm - Field 8
June23 | LAFC vs Colorado Rapids at 1:00pm - Field 5