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LAFC 2020 player postmortem: Erik Dueñas

A player who’s been with LAFC since the very beginning.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Erik Dueñas was one of LAFC’s first homegrown signings who came through the LAFC academy, and Dueñas the lone player among those first three signings in 2020 who was part of the inaugural LAFC academy class at the beginning.

Signed at the tender age of 15, it was unclear if Dueñas would play a role with LAFC’s first team his rookie campaign, but he did, with the black-and-gold churning through bodies down the home stretch of the season, and he got a taste of MLS action along the way.

Here are Dueñas’ stats with the first team in 2020:

Erik Dueñas 2020 Statistics

2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 2 0 34 0 0 0 0 1 0
MiB Knockouts 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CCL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2 0 34 0 0 0 0 1 0

Now 16, Dueñas featured as a right back in his limited minutes, but Bob Bradley specifically mentioned at one point that he thinks the player can also play in midfield. Given how important midfield is in Bradley’s system (obviously, all positions are important, but you know what I mean), that indicates the coach and club think Dueñas has considerable potential.

He’s small and lanky and I think we’ll see him as a bit of a project over the next couple years as he grows into an adult body and maybe adds a bit of weight to his frame. Still, Bradley hasn’t been afraid to play youngsters if he thinks they’re ready (and/or there’s a spot open in the lineup). I think there’s a decent chance Dueñas could head out on loan to get regular playing time, but that’s all to be determined. He’s considered an excellent prospect in U.S. circles in his age group.

For now, history was made in 2020 via Dueñas, and let’s hope it’s only the very beginning for the youngster in his professional career.

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