There have been questions regarding the pace with which Los Angeles Football Club will build their boys academy program. Starting last year with a U-12 team and beginning U.S. Soccer Development Academy league play this season, would LAFC look to slowly build out their age groups, either with this inaugural group progressing to the elder age ranks? Would they perhaps add an age group or two over the next couple years?
It appears academy expansion will be more aggressive than that. According to a profile from Kevin Baxter in The Los Angeles Times on Saturday, LAFC’s academy plans to be “fully built out” by next fall.
That’s good news for those eager to see LAFC get to the stage of signing Homegrown products out of the academy. If they merely let the current U-12 group progress through the age ranks, it would probably be 2021 or 2022 at the earliest for a particularly precocious youngster to earn a contract. But with other age groups being added, that lead time could be cut down substantially, perhaps as soon as 2018 (a lot of things would have to come together for it to be that soon, but it could be within the realm of possibility).
So it sounds like we’ll be seeing a rapid expansion of the boys’ academy at LAFC in the near future, and with it the promise of a pipeline of local youth talent for years to come.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!