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LAFC clear key academy hurdle, could possibly start USL team before entering MLS

It looks like soccer news could be on the horizon before long.

Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- While the big news on Thursday was LAFC's new crest and official colors being revealed, there was a little soccer information sprinkled in the proceedings.

In particular, vice president of soccer operations John Thorrington spoke about two development matters that quite a few people are wondering about.

First and foremost, it appears establishing LAFC's academy, which Thorrington indicated was his top priority when he was hired, is coming along well.

"We have our academy designation already, which was a process where you have to apply to U.S. Soccer. We met with them, they are very excited about our plans and our vision for what we see for the youth players in LA," Thorrington told reporters following Thursday's press conference.

"So we have that academy designation and we're in the midst of rolling out, starting with our coaching and recruiting of players."

That's good news, as I would venture to guess that means LAFC can enter the development academy when they launch, meaning they'll be playing against top academies from the get-go.

Thorrington also said news concerning the academy was "imminent," although he did note that the club was still in the process of talking to potential academy directors at this stage.

In addition, he noted that while the first team and producing eventual pros was a main goal for the academy, the organization also wanted to produce good college players, and that even opening a school, like the LA Galaxy academy is doing, could be an option down the line.

Thorrington was also asked about USL. With the MLS/USL partnership growing more every year, and more MLS teams creating subsidiary USL teams, options are more plentiful for expansion teams.

"Those are live discussions, those are dynamic conversations but certainly that's in our mind. When I say it's a blank canvas it all fits together, it's a pyramid. So we have our MLS team, that will be 2018, the potential of a USL team as well and then you have our academy. All of that will fit together."

When asked to clarify if LAFC could even get involved in USL before the MLS team took the field, Thorrington said, "There's potential for that. We're not closed to that idea."

Should be interesting to see the various levels of the club being developed in the months and years to come.

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