Tony Leone’s teacher describes him as a humble, bright and successful young man who doesn’t fear pressure. Which is amazing, since he happens to be one of the top youth soccer players in the United States. He started last year with the youth academy of the Los Angeles Football Club, a Major League Soccer (MLS) team.
In January, Tony played center back against one of the top teams in South America, Uruguay’s Penarol, in a friendly match at Banc of California Stadium. He is being scouted by professional teams in Germany and England, and with his family heritage, he qualifies to play for Italy or Mexico.
Last month, he was signed to the LAFC – one of the first three homegrown players who came out of their youth academy. On the team website, they describe Leone “as one of the brightest defensive prospects on the continent. He should develop into a starting center back in the coming years.”
It’s remarkable that at age 15, this Learn4Life high school student debuted with an American professional sports franchise, playing among premier adult athletes. He enrolled at our Inglewood, Calif., school last fall so he could keep up with his schoolwork while playing soccer.
Despite the pandemic, MLS started its season on July 27 and Tony, now 16, is fulfilling his dreams of being a professional footballer – while earning his diploma. Thanks to the flexibility Learn4Life gives him, he is on pace to graduate early from high school.