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LAFC reflect on academy program's first competitive action

They got their feet wet and look to continue building the program.

LAFC (via Twitter)

Los Angeles Football Club kicked off their competitive slate as a club last month in a U-12 tournament in Dallas. The new academy team, still being formed, had its first opportunity to face off against other academies from around the world.

U-12 academy coach Joey Cascio discussed LAFC's appearance at the Generation Adidas Cup exclusively with The Goat Parade.

"The GA Cup was an excellent opportunity for us to compete against some of the best domestic and international youth competition," he said. "Our performances on the field improved throughout and the players showed great character in their persistence with our on-field identity."

While results at any academy level, and especially a level as young as U-12, should not be the primary concern, LAFC's boys lost their first game in group play at the Generation Adidas Cup, 5-1 to Spanish side Celta de Vigo, before losing what was apparently entertaining game 4-3 against Toronto FC. Their final group match against Orlando City does not appear to have the final score bouncing around the internet.

LAFC executive vice president for soccer operations John Thorrington also commented exclusively to The Goat Parade about the academy's debut.

"Dallas was a fantastic experience for our boys and our staff," Thorrington said. "The exposure to top-level international and domestic competition was a great development opportunity, and what I loved was the visible difference within our group from day one to day three.

"I received a lot of positive (and appreciated) comments from folks around MLS regarding our play and our brand of soccer."

Again, the results matter less than actually embarking on a youth soccer academy and getting some actual games under everyone's belts.

"We took away many things from our experience in Dallas and are excited to continue building our Academy program," Cascio noted.

The new academy will continue to develop over the coming months, ahead of their first season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's new U-12 division beginning in August.

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