MLS has recently endured a wave of up and coming teenage players who could one day become stars. LAFC has been at the forefront of this practice since its existence but has intensified its use of young players even more recently.
The club has endured its share of injuries as well as the loss of players via international absences, thus creating holes within its roster. A trio of young players was called upon in the past week to help fill the gaps and make a bigger impression. The oldest, Kwadwo “Mahala” Opoku, at 19 years old was signed through the Attram de Visser Academy in Ghana but has yet to officially sign with the team despite appearing on the field multiple times. The black and gold also have the youngest player in MLS at 16 years old. However, defender Erik Dueñas made his debut right before his birthday, at 15.
The last of the trio, 16-year-old Christian Torres made his presence known to the MLS world on Sunday night. During stoppage time in the second half, the homegrown striker saved LAFC from the jaws of defeat with his first career MLS goal.
What. A. Moment.
16-year-old Christian Torres bags his first @LAFC goal, a stoppage-time equalizer in Portland! 👏
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) October 19, 2020
Not only did he turn a loss to the Portland Timber into a draw that the club will certainly take, but he also became the youngest player in MLS to score since 2018.
— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) October 19, 2020
"We're a brotherhood out there."
— LAFC (@LAFC) October 19, 2020
LAFC has experienced an up and down season this year that has left fans disappointed all too often. However, the new crop of young players has to give hope that the future will only get brighter from here.