LAFC and Real So Cal Soccer Club have formed LAFC So Cal Youth, it was announced Monday, creating a partnership that extends the MLS club’s player development reach to over 4,000 youth players in the Real So Cal and West Valley Soccer League (WVSL) program.
“The LAFC So Cal Youth partnership is incredibly important to us,” LAFC co-president & general manager John Thorrington said in a release. “Our club strives to be a force for good – not just for those players that are already in our academy, but for all players and parents in the youth soccer landscape in Southern California, and this is an important next step.”
Real So Cal has roots back to 2006 and boasts numerous championship teams and players who have reached the collegiate and professional levels. Now, all LAFC So Cal Youth teams will wear the Black & Gold and have access to professional staff and player methodology.
“When you think of soccer in the city of Los Angeles, you think of LAFC,” LAFC So Cal Youth program director Alberto Bru said in a release. “By becoming LAFC So Cal Youth, we are now aligned with a tremendous, high-quality professional club that will be able to share its expertise, resources and leadership.”
LAFC So Cal Youth aims to create the best youth soccer experience possible, all while creating a clear pathway to the LAFC academy for elite players.
“It feels like a natural fit,” LAFC academy director Todd Saldana said in a release. “For a long time, they have been a frontrunner and ahead of the game in the youth market. This partnership gives us an opportunity to work with even more players and impact their player development program and get players even more prepared for the next level.”
LAFC’s academy launched in 2016 and includes five teams the U-12 to U-17 age groups. Last season, they signed three homegrowns to first-team deals.