Los Angeles FC

Last updated

Los Angeles FC
Los Angeles Football Club.svg
Full nameLos Angeles Football Club
Nickname(s)The Black and Gold [1]
FoundedOctober 30, 2014;4 years ago (October 30, 2014)
Stadium Banc of California Stadium
Los Angeles, California
Capacity22,000
Owners
Executive chairman Peter Guber [2]
Head coach Bob Bradley
League Major League Soccer
2018 Western Conference: 3rd
Overall: 5th
Playoffs: Knockout round
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Los Angeles Football Club is an American professional soccer franchise based in Los Angeles, California, that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the Western Conference. [3] [4] LAFC play their home games at the Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park. The team shares the Los Angeles area market with the LA Galaxy, and the two clubs compete in a rivalry dubbed El Tráfico.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

Major League Soccer Professional soccer league

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The league comprises 24 teams—21 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada and constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues in both countries. The regular season runs from March to October, with each team playing 34 games; the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters' Shield. Fourteen teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs through October and November, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup. MLS teams also play in domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship. MLS teams also compete against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Contents

History

On October 30, 2014, Major League Soccer awarded a new expansion team to Los Angeles, filling the vacancy in the market created by the dissolution of Chivas USA three days earlier. [5] On September 15, 2015, the club announced that Los Angeles Football Club, which had previously been used as a placeholder name for the club, would be the official team name. [6] Henry Nguyen, Los Angeles FC's principal owner at the time, hinted at this possibility shortly after the club was announced in describing the name as "timeless". [7]

Expansion of Major League Soccer has occurred several times since the league began play in 1996. Major League Soccer was established as the top level of professional soccer in the United States in 1993 with 10 teams and began play in 1996. It has expanded several times since 1998 into new markets across the United States and, since 2006, into Canada.

Chivas USA American soccer team

Club Deportivo Chivas USA was an American professional soccer club based in Carson, California, part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The club played from 2005 to 2014 in Major League Soccer (MLS) and was a subsidiary of Mexican club C.D. Guadalajara, sharing common ownership and branding.

LAFC announced Bob Bradley as its head coach in July 2017, [8] joining general director John Thorrington in a search for players. [9] Mexican midfielder Carlos Vela was signed as the club's first designated player on August 11, 2017. [10]

Bob Bradley American association football player and manager

Robert Frank Bradley is an American soccer coach who is currently the head coach of the Major League Soccer team Los Angeles FC.

John Thorrington American soccer player

John Gerard Thorrington is a retired South African-born American soccer player who currently serves as executive vice president of soccer operations and general manager of Los Angeles FC of Major League Soccer.

Carlos Vela Mexican footballer

Carlos Alberto Vela Garrido is a Mexican professional footballer who plays as a forward for Los Angeles FC and the Mexico national team.

On March 4, 2018, LAFC played its first MLS game, a 1–0 win against Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. LAFC designated player Diego Rossi scored in the 11th minute, assisted by Carlos Vela. [11]

Seattle Sounders FC American Major League Soccer team

Seattle Sounders FC is an American professional soccer club based in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders compete as a member of the Western Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS). The club was established on November 13, 2007, and began play in 2009 as an MLS expansion team. The Sounders are a phoenix club, carrying the same name as the original franchise that competed in the North American Soccer League from 1974 to 1983.

CenturyLink Field multi-purpose stadium in Seattle

CenturyLink Field is a multi-purpose stadium located in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the home field for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL) and Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). Originally called Seahawks Stadium, it became Qwest Field in June 2004, when telecommunications carrier Qwest acquired the naming rights. It received its current name in June 2011 after Qwest's acquisition by CenturyLink. It is a modern facility with views of the Downtown Seattle skyline and can seat 69,000 people. The complex also includes the Event Center with the Washington Music Theater, a parking garage, and a public plaza. The venue hosts concerts, trade shows, and consumer shows along with sporting events. Located within a mile (1.6 km) of Downtown Seattle, the stadium is accessible by multiple freeways and forms of mass transit.

Diego Rossi Uruguayan association football player

Diego Martín Rossi Marachlian is a Uruguayan footballer who currently plays for Los Angeles FC as a forward. Rossi previously played for Peñarol in the Uruguayan Primera División.

On March 31, 2018, LAFC suffered its first MLS loss, giving up a 3–0 lead to lose 4–3 to LA Galaxy in the MLS debut of Zlatan Ibrahimović. [12] [13] LAFC was the second team ever to lose an MLS game after leading 3–0 during the match. [14] Despite the loss, LAFC won 4 of the 6 games on their road trip to start the season, becoming the first team to earn 12 points from a season opening road trip of 6 games or more. [15] They finished the season with 7 road wins which is the most for an expansion team in the post-shootout era. [16]

LA Galaxy American soccer team

The LA Galaxy, also known as the Los Angeles Galaxy, is an American professional soccer franchise based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), as a member of the Western Conference. The club began play in 1996 as one of the league's eight charter members.

Zlatan Ibrahimović Swedish association football player

Zlatan Ibrahimović is a Swedish professional footballer who plays as a forward for LA Galaxy. Primarily a striker, he is a prolific goalscorer, who is best known for his technique, creativity, strength, ability in the air, and his powerful and accurate striking ability. He is currently the third-most decorated active footballer in the world, having won 31 trophies in his career. He has scored over 500 senior career goals for club and country.

LAFC accomplished the best regular season for an MLS expansion team, earning 57 points. The total surpassed the 56 picked up the 1998 Chicago Fire, also coached by Bob Bradley, as well as the post-shootout era record of 55 set in 2017 by Atlanta United. [17] LAFC's seven road wins also tied for the most ever by an expansion team in the pre or post shootout-era with the '98 Fire who had two road wins come via the shootout. They finished second all-time in goals scored by an expansion team in a season, with 68, just behind Atlanta's 70. [17]

The 1998 Chicago Fire season was the Chicago Fire Soccer Club's inaugural season of existence, and their first season in Major League Soccer, the top tier of American soccer.

Atlanta United FC American professional soccer team

Atlanta United FC, commonly known as Atlanta United, is an American professional soccer club based in Atlanta, Georgia that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference and the most recent winner of the MLS Cup.

On October 6, 2018, LAFC clinched its first playoff spot after a 3–0 victory against the Colorado Rapids [18] finishing third in the West, but were knocked-out at home in the first-round in a 3–2 loss to sixth-place Real Salt Lake. [19]

Colors and badge

The club's colors and logo were unveiled on January 7, 2016, at Union Station. [20] [21] The club's primary colors are black and gold, with red and gray used as accent colors. The Art Deco-inspired logo incorporates a shield outline referencing the city seal, with a winged "LA" monogram and the words "Los Angeles" and "Football Club" in Neutraface. The crest was designed by Matthew Wolff. [22]

Sponsorship

On January 31, 2018, LAFC announced that YouTube TV would be the club's jersey sponsor in addition to broadcasting local matches in English. [23] [24]

Stadium

On May 17, 2015, the team chose the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena site to build a 22,000-seat state of the art stadium for the MLS in Exposition Park, costing $250 million. The group estimated the project would create 1,200 temporary construction jobs and 1,800 full-time jobs, generating $2.5 million in annual tax revenue. [25] The environmental impact report, arena demolition, and stadium construction were expected to take three years and delay the team's debut to 2018.

On May 6, 2016, the Los Angeles City Council approved the stadium, clearing a way for the construction of the stadium.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place on August 23, 2016. At the event attended by owners and construction crews, LAFC announced a 15-year, $100 million naming rights deal for the stadium with the Banc of California. [26] [27] [28] Demolition of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena began shortly after the groundbreaking and was completed by October 2016. [29] [30]

The first public event at the stadium was an open practice and dedication ceremony held on April 18, 2018. [31] The club's first home match was played on April 29, 2018, against Seattle Sounders FC, with the home side winning 1–0. [32] [33] The lone goal was scored by Laurent Ciman in stoppage time in front of a capacity crowd of 22,000. [33]

Club culture

After the 2014 launch, supporters were consulted on many of the club's early decisions including the team colors, the look of the crest and the design of Banc of California Stadium, built on land previously held by the LA Sports Arena. [34] Much of the marketing focus was to millennials, which led to the decision to play near downtown Los Angeles. [35] LAFC took a grassroots approach to building the club by founding the LAFC academy and signing younger prospects including Americans Walker Zimmerman and Los Angeles native Tristan Blackmon, Portuguese draft pick João Moutinho, [36] and Uruguayan prospect Diego Rossi.

The club shares the Los Angeles market with the LA Galaxy; the two teams' rivalry is nicknamed El Tráfico. [37]

Supporters

The 3252 section unveil a tifo before the second El Trafico 3252 LAFC Supporter's section.jpg
The 3252 section unveil a tifo before the second El Tráfico

LAFC supporters are known collectively as "The 3252", a reference to the number of seats in the safe standing supporters section at Banc of California Stadium, as well as adding up to 12, a reference to the supporters being the team’s 12th man. The 3252 is the club's independent supporters union, which encompasses a number of affiliated supporters groups, including the Black Army 1850, District 9 Ultras, Expo Originals, LAFC Cuervos, Lucky Boys, Tigers Supporters Group, and several others. [38] [39]

Falcon program

The club's Falcon program includes four real-life falcons who participate in various gameday and community events. One falcon is released pre-game by an honorary falconer (usually a celebrity or community figure) and flies around the stadium at more than 80 miles an hour. The first honorary falconer was co-owner Will Ferrell. [40] The four falcons are named after famous streets in Los Angeles: "Olly" (Olvera Street), "Fig" (Figueroa Street), "Sunny" (Sunset Boulevard), and "Mel" (Melrose Avenue). [41]

Rivalries

The club's main rival is the LA Galaxy, who play in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson.

"El Tráfico" (literally "The Traffic" in Spanish) was a term created by MLS fans and adopted by media outlets following polls by SB Nation blogs LAG Confidential [42] and Angels on Parade. [37] [43] [44] It refers to the notorious traffic congestion in Los Angeles, [43] [45] among the worst in the United States and the world, while serving as a pun on "El Clásico". [46] MLS has no plans to trademark the name. [47] The rivalry has also been called the "Los Angeles Derby", [48] a moniker that was also used for the SuperClasico. [49]

Ownership

Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group and entrepreneur Peter Guber is executive chairman, former National Basketball Association executive Tom Penn is president, and venture capitalist Henry Nguyen is vice-chairman. [50] The ownership group also includes businessmen Ruben Gnanalingam and Vincent Tan. [7] In addition, the club has a further 22 named investors including Magic Johnson, Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm-Garciaparra, Chad Hurley, Tony Robbins and Will Ferrell. [7] [50] [51] [52]

Broadcasting

All LAFC matches are broadcast regionally in English by YouTube TV, with the team's channel carrying live games and supplemental coverage. It marks the first time that a major U.S. professional sports team has sold their regional broadcast rights to an online streaming service as opposed to a traditional television broadcaster or regional sports network. Max Bretos handles the teams’s lead play-by-play announcer. [23] [24] [53] All LAFC matches are televised locally in Spanish on UniMás KFTR 46. [54] Regular local radio coverage of LAFC matches is provided in English by KSPN (ESPNLA 710), with Dave Denholm serving as the radio play-by-play announcer. Spanish radio broadcasts are provided by KFWB (980), with Armando Aguayo as the play-by-play announcer. [55]

Players and staff

Current roster

As of March 2, 2019 [56]
No.PositionPlayerNation
1 Goalkeeper Tyler Miller Flag of the United States.svg  United States
2 Defender Jordan Harvey Flag of the United States.svg  United States
3 Defender Steven Beitashour Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
4 Defender Eddie Segura (on loan from Atlético Huila)Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
5 Defender Dejan Jakovic Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
6 Defender Danilo Silva Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
7 Forward Latif Blessing Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana
8 Midfielder André Horta (DP)Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
9 Forward Diego Rossi (DP)Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
10 Forward Carlos Vela (DP)Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
11 Midfielder Peter-Lee Vassell Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
12 Defender Niko Hämäläinen (on loan from Queens Park Rangers)Flag of Finland.svg  Finland
13 Defender Mohamed El Monir Flag of Libya.svg  Libya
14 Midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
15 Midfielder Alejandro Guido Flag of the United States.svg  United States
20 Midfielder Eduard Atuesta Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
21 Forward Christian Ramirez Flag of the United States.svg  United States
22 Forward Rodolfo Zelaya Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador
23 Goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
24 Midfielder Lee Nguyen Flag of the United States.svg  United States
25 Defender Walker Zimmerman Flag of the United States.svg  United States
26 Forward Adrien Perez Flag of the United States.svg  United States
40 Goalkeeper Phillip Ejimadu Flag of the United States.svg  United States
99 Forward Adama Diomande Flag of Norway.svg  Norway

Out on loan

No.PositionPlayerNation
16 Midfielder Javi Pérez (on loan to Phoenix Rising)Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
18 Forward Joshua Pérez (on loan to Phoenix Rising)Flag of the United States.svg  United States
19 Defender Lamar Batista (on loan to Phoenix Rising)Flag of the United States.svg  United States
27 Defender Tristan Blackmon (on loan to Phoenix Rising)Flag of the United States.svg  United States
28 Forward Shaft Brewer Jr. (on loan to Phoenix Rising)Flag of the United States.svg  United States

Coaching staff

As of November 7, 2018 [57]
Technical staff
Head coach Bob Bradley
Assistant coach Ante Razov
Assistant coach Kenny Arena
Goalkeeping coach Zak Abdel
Director of soccer operations Mike Sorber

Team management

As of May 3, 2018 [58]
Front office
Lead managing ownerLarry Berg
Co-managing ownerBrandon Beck
Co-managing ownerBennett Rosenthal
Executive chairman and owner Peter Guber
President and owner Tom Penn
Vice-chairman and owner Henry Nguyen
Director and owner Ruben Gnanalingam
Director and owner Vincent Tan
Executive vice president and general manager, soccer operations John Thorrington
Vice president and assistant general manager, soccer operationsWill Kuntz

Records

Development system

Orange County SC

Orange County SC, competing in the USL Championship, was affiliated with Los Angeles FC as part of a multi-year affiliation agreement with the team that started on December 7, 2016 and ended after the 2018 season. [59] [60]

Academy

On February 1, 2016, the club announced the founding of the LAFC Academy. [61] The academy is launching with a fully funded U12 USSDA academy team with a roster of 26 players. Todd Saldana currently serves as academy director. [62]

On August 21, 2018, the U-13 squad won the CONCACAF Champions League, as champions of North America. [63]

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The 2019 Los Angeles FC season is the club's second season, and second season in Major League Soccer, the top-tier of the American soccer pyramid. Los Angeles FC play its home matches at the Banc of California Stadium in the Exposition Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Outside of MLS play, the team will participate in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup tournament.

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