Los Angeles Football Club made history Wednesday, signing three players as the club’s first homegrown players produced within the LAFC academy, in forward Christian Torres and defenders Tony Leone and Erik Dueñas.
All three players, 16 years old, are now part of the first team, with Torres traveling with LAFC to Orlando, likely to see some playing time for the black-and-gold at the MLS is Back Tournament, which kicks off Wednesday.
“Today marks a very special day for our entire organization, the LAFC Academy, the three players and their families,” said LAFC EVP & general manager John Thorrington in a team statement. “Erik, Tony and Christian have shown great development and have undoubtedly earned this opportunity. We look forward to helping them continue their progression at the MLS level.”
Torres, a native of Fontana, has been with LAFC’s academy for two years. He scored in a preseason game for LAFC’s first team in the spring, and won the 2018-19 Golden Boot for his age level in the now-defunct USSDA. He has received call-ups to the U.S. U-15 National Team.
Leone is considered one of the top prospects in the country. Coming from Long Beach, he won the Golden Ball in the USSDA in 2018-19 and has been dominant since arriving in the program in 2017-18. Leone is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico and has been called up to both countries’ youth national teams, including most recently the Mexican U-17s.
Dueñas is an LAFC academy OG, joining with the inaugural U-12 group back in 2016. He won the Concacaf Champions League with his U-13 team in 2018, and comes from El Monte.
Obviously, this is a big deal, with LAFC signing their first homegrown players in a little under four years. But now that they’ve done it, the work only just begins, both for the players and the club. Congrats to Christian, Tony and Erik, and keep on working to become the best players you can be.
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