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Los Angeles FC Information

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Los Angeles FC
Team logo
Full nameLos Angeles Football Club
Nickname(s)The Black and Gold [1]
Short nameLAFC
FoundedOctober 30, 2014; 5 years ago (October 30, 2014)
Stadium Banc of California Stadium
Los Angeles, California
Capacity22,000
Managing
owners
Chairmen
President Tom Penn
Coach Bob Bradley
League Major League Soccer
2020 Western Conference: 1st
Overall: 1st
Playoffs: Conference Finals
Website Club website
Current season

Los Angeles Football Club, commonly referred to as LAFC, 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. [4] [5] The team plays 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.

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. [6] 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. [7] 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". [8]

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

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 the club's first-ever competitive goal in the 11th minute, assisted by Vela. [12]

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. [13] [14] LAFC was the second team ever to lose an MLS game after leading 3–0 during the match. [15] 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. [16] They finished the season with 7 road wins which is the most for an expansion team in the post-shootout era. [17]

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. [18] 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. [18]

On October 6, 2018, LAFC clinched its first playoff spot after a 3–0 victory against the Colorado Rapids [19] 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. [20]

Colors and badge

The club's colors and logo were unveiled on January 7, 2016, at Union Station. [21] [22] 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. [23]

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. [24] [25] On October 11, 2019, LAFC announced it would participate in a sleeve sponsorship with Target. [26]

Stadium

Banc of California Stadium
Banc of California Stadium during one of LAFC's games.

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. [27] 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. [28] [29] [30] Demolition of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena began shortly after the groundbreaking and was completed by October 2016. [31] [32]

The first public event at the stadium was an open practice and dedication ceremony held on April 18, 2018. [33] The club's first home match was played on April 29, 2018, against Seattle Sounders FC, with the home side winning 1–0. [34] [35] The lone goal was scored by Laurent Ciman in stoppage time in front of a capacity crowd of 22,000. [35]

Club culture

The 3252 Supporters unveiling their first tifo in the home inaugural game vs. the Seattle Sounders.

After the 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. [36] Much of the marketing focus was to millennials, which led to the decision to play near downtown Los Angeles. [37] 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, [38] and Uruguayan prospect Diego Rossi.

The club shares the Los Angeles market with the LA Galaxy; the two teams' rivalry is nicknamed El Tráfico. [39]

Supporters

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. [40] [41]

Falcon program

The club's falcon program includes three live 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. The first honorary falconer was co-owner Will Ferrell. [42] The three falcons are named after famous streets in Los Angeles: "Olly" ( Olvera Street), "Fig" ( Figueroa Street), and "Mel" ( Melrose Avenue). [43]

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 [44] and Angels on Parade. [39] [45] [46] It refers to the notorious traffic congestion in Los Angeles, [45] [47] among the worst in the United States and the world, while serving as a pun on " El Clásico". [48] MLS has no plans to trademark the name. [49] The rivalry has also been called the "Los Angeles Derby", [50] a moniker that was also used for the SuperClasico. [51]

Ownership

In 2016, three local investors - Brandon Beck, Larry Berg and Bennett Rosenthal - took over as managing owners of the club with Berg serving as lead managing owner. [52] [53] 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. [54] The ownership group also includes businessmen Ruben Gnanalingam and Vincent Tan. [8] Other part owners and investors include Will Ferrell, Nomar Garciaparra, Mia Hamm-Garciaparra, Chad Hurley, Magic Johnson, Joseph Tsai [55], Tucker Kain, Kirk Lacob, Mitch Lasky, Mark Leschly, Mike Mahan, Irwin Raij, Tony Robbins, Lon Rosen, Paul Schaeffer, Brandon Schneider, Allen Shapiro, Mark Shapiro, Jason Sugarman, Harry Tsao and Rick Welts. [8] [54] [56] [57]

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. [24] [25] [58] All LAFC matches are televised locally in Spanish on UniMás KFTR 46. [59] 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. [60]

Players and staff

Current roster

As of January 25, 2020 [61]
No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer   Netherlands
2 Defender Jordan Harvey   United States
4 Defender Eddie Segura   Colombia
5 Defender Dejan Jakovic   Canada
6 Defender Danilo Silva   Brazil
7 Midfielder Latif Blessing   Ghana
8 Midfielder Francisco Ginella   Uruguay
9 Forward Diego Rossi ( DP)   Uruguay
10 Forward Carlos Vela ( DP)   Mexico
11 Midfielder José Cifuentes   Ecuador
12 Defender Diego Palacios   Ecuador
13 Defender Mohamed El Monir   Libya
14 Midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye   Canada
15 Midfielder Alejandro Guido   United States
17 Forward Brian Rodríguez ( DP)   Uruguay
18 Forward Joshua Pérez   United States
19 Midfielder Bryce Duke ( HG)   United States
20 Midfielder Eduard Atuesta   Colombia
23 Goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega   Mexico
25 Defender Walker Zimmerman   United States
26 Forward Adrien Perez   United States
27 Defender Tristan Blackmon   United States
99 Forward Adama Diomande   Norway
Forward Danny Musovski   United States

Coaching staff

As of November 7, 2018 [62]
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 [63]
Front office
Lead managing owner Larry Berg
Co-managing owner Brandon Beck
Co-managing owner Bennett 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 operations Will Kuntz

Honors

Team

The 2019 Supporter's Shield Champion LAFC
In 2019, Los Angeles Football Club won their first major MLS trophy, the Supporter's Shield. They won it with a record breaking 72 points in just their second season in existence.
International
Competitions Titles Seasons
CONCACAF Champions League 0
National
Competitions Titles Seasons
MLS Cup 0
Supporters' Shield 1 2019 [64]
U.S. Open Cup 0
Western Conference (Playoff) 0
Western Conference (Regular Season) 1 2019

Players