The Fontana native came on as a second half substitute in the loss to the Seattle Sounders. The result was not what the Black and Gold were looking for but the moment for Christian Torres must not be overlooked. The LAFC Academy product represents the first homegrown player to make his MLS debut.
LAFC has signed 2 additional homegrown players in Tony Leone and Erik Duenas. Along with Christian they have helped propel LAFC’s Academy team to one of the best in all of the MLS academy system. The pathway for young American players to rise through the ranks in the US has never been more aligned. Yet still, it doesn’t happen overnight. This process of signing homegrown players has been 4 years in the making.
There is still much development needed for these 16 year olds to become regulars in the LAFC starting 11. Time spent training with the first team and the US Youth National Teams will help accelerate the process. There is so much talent in Southern California that you can expect to see players from this market for years to come. The work put in by Academy and Coaching Director’s Todd Saldana and Enrique Duran should be commended. One can see the Academy team’s brand of football is in harmony with the first team. Its like watching the junior version of the senior team when you witness an LAFC Academy match. Full credit to LAFC for investing in the youth, making dreams possible and giving the kids their shot at professional football. You can watch LAFC live at 8p tonight as they take on San Jose Earthquakes in this all California matchup.