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LAFC to play in 2018 Concacaf U-13 Champions League

Who knew this was even a thing?

MLS: Banc of California Stadium Ribbon Cutting Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Football Club U-13 squad has been placed in the draw for the 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf U-13 Champions League.

First, awesome job guys!

Second, who knew this was even a thing?

The U-13 Champions League is a regional youth tournament. In its fourth edition, this will be LAFC’s first time competing in the competition.

There are four groups of four teams that will play in a round-robin before entering a knock-out stage. The teams are chosen from 10 Concacaf member countries.

LAFC is the only team from the United States to make the tournament while Canada have two representatives and Mexico have four. Costa Rica and El Salvador each have two while Nicaragua, Panama, Jamaica, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago each have one.

Here is the group breakdown, per Concacaf:

Group A

Juniors Tampico (Mexico)

Montreal Impact (Canada)

A.D. Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (Costa Rica)

Santa Ana (El Salvador)

Group B

CECAF San Luis (Mexico)

Costa Rica 2

San Miguel (El Salvador)

Real Esteli F.C. (Nicaragua)

Group C

Cantera Yucatán (Mexico)

LAFC (United States)

CD Plaza Amador (Panama)

Mount Pleasant Academy (Jamaica)

Group D

Aguilas del Uagro (Mexico)

Honduras 1

San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad & Tobago)

Toronto FC (Canada)

In the last three years, a team from Mexico (Toluca, 2015 and Universidad Cantera Norte, 2017) have won the U13 title while Santa Ana from El Salvador won the trophy in 2016.

According to Top Drawer Soccer (must have a membership to view), LAFC’s U-13 and U-14 academy teams are both ranked No. 1 in the United States.

“Having assembled and trained three age-group teams (U12, U13 and U14) in our first full U.S. Development Academy season, we are so pleased with the progress,” LAFC Academy Director Todd Saldaña said, according to the team’s academy website. “Many LAFC players have been recognized and invited to U.S Soccer Youth National Team Camps and Training Centers, and LAFC players are being identified and selected by the FMF Mexican Federation, as well.

“The current team ranking is recognition to our owners, management, and coaching staff for outstanding support and quality work throughout the process so far. Our academy continues to stay humble and grateful for our amazing beginning.”

LAFC will play in consecutive days from Aug. 15-17 in the group stage, and if they qualify, they’ll progress through to the subsequent knockout stage. According to Concacaf, all games will be streamed on their website.

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