Los Angeles FC, a club that wants to make the City of Angels a dream

Giorgio Kignin signed a contract with the Los Angeles FC, MLS Club, which was established in 2014 and has been operating since 2018, in early June. A new ambitious and innovative club appeared in the City of Angels. The franchise with rival Los Angeles Galaxy is the result of an astonishing alliance of cosmopolitan investors, such as its equally globalized workforce. They want to make the LAFC a team “competitive and exciting”. What do you need to know about the club?

An ambitious trio in the genesis of the club

Switch from production Taxi driver and Midnight express to the MLS franchise is a trip for ambitious entrepreneur Peter Guber. In total, his films have earned $ 3 billion and been nominated for an Oscar 50 times, including five Best Film. He repeated the success of acquiring and straightening the Golden State Warriors, then in 2010 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. He then wants to expand it to the MLS.

Boston is trying to buy the Los Angeles Galaxy, the city’s historic club. In vain. The man who “do all your business to make money” uses another option: a neglected Chivas USA club franchise that will disappear and be put up for sale by MLS. He plans to use the aura of Los Angeles: “If playing in Paris has a special flavor, the same goes for Los Angeles. Milan, Munich, Manchester are not what we have. I’ve seen it all my career with movies, TV and music: Los Angeles is a special city that can create other careers, other sources of income and other opportunities. »

Peter Guber (right) during the last GoldenState Warrios title he proposed to reclaim. (Naked Terada / USA TODAY SPORTS / SPORTS PRESS / Sports press)

Except that the entrepreneur on the spot is not alone. Also interested are lawyer Tom Penn, who became a basketball agent in the NBA, and a Vietnamese-based American businessman, Henry Nguyen. The problem is the MLS is demanding at least $ 100 million from them in addition to the extra $ 250 million needed to build the new stadium. In 2014, three men met and formed an alliance.

On October 30, 2014, the troika announced the formation of the LAFC and introduced the stars behind the investment, including Magic Johnson, Brandon Beck, League of Legends or even the most famous football player in the United States, Mia Hamma. Although Peter Guber is one of 22 members of the club today, “His mark is on every major decision in the history of our club.” confirms Tom Penn, the current president of the franchise.

The identity of a cosmopolitan club

Very quickly, when the club was formed, its identity developed and so did its transition policy. Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the United States after New York, is cosmopolitan. According to demographic research, the City of Angels is made up of 48% Spanish, 26% White, 14% Asian and 8% African American. In 2014, a competitor was judged by the Los Angeles Galaxy “too white” some residents who do not identify with the club team.

That is why LAFC leaders want to diversify their player profiles. Rather, it is a success. Currently, only nine of the total staff are Americans and 22 are from another country. In addition, the Mexican Carlos Vela is the club’s most successful player of all time (73 goals in 119 matches in all tournaments) and a record number of goals scored in the MLS season. This summer, the LAFC marked a turning point in its recruitment policy by signing an agreement with two major European stars, Giorgio Kignin and Garetta Baille, in line with the Los Angeles Galaxy Strategy, which signed an agreement with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2018.

A 4-3-3 alignment was the formation of choice for

The Los Angeles FC is playing mostly 4-3-3 this season with two high midfielders on the orders of American coach Steve Cherundolo, who has already worked as an assistant in Hannover 96 and Stuttgart. The offensive face of his team allows him to be productive with the best goal total at the Western Conference on the 15th (31 goals scored). The balance shown in the defense hinges is in its championship standards with 17 goals concealed. On-site protection is not fixed alternately between Henry, Mbacke, Murillo and Ibeagha.

The arrival of the experienced Giorgio Kjelini would provide stability in the defense, especially since the LAFC already played 3-5-2, the system experienced by the Italian Juventus of Turin. Geret Baille will have a difficult time on the left side to complete the offensive three with Arango and right wing winger. The two newcomers, who will join the club on July 7 for a transfer period in the United States, could be in the Los Angeles Galaxy derby under the nickname “El trafico” until July 9.

Convincing results since 2018

“The goal is to become one of the best and most respected teams in the world in MLS within five years” was the ambition of Los Angeles FC President Tom Penn in the early days of the franchise. Peter Guber, for his part, explained what his club should aim for in the future: “In Los Angeles, you need a competitive team, not always the best. If you accustom your spectators and fans only to victories, you will have problems when you no longer win. The idea is to be competitive and exciting!”

The Los Angeles FC, which came to the MLS in 2018, got off to a strong start, finishing third in the Western Conference and qualifying for the first round of the playoffs. The players eliminated from the start in their second season of MLS achieve the best performance in the club’s short history by winning the Supporters’ Shield, the title that rewards the team with the most points at the end of the season. . However, they are eliminated in the conference finals, at the final gate for the MLS title.

Since then, the LAFC has only qualified once for the playoffs, in 2020, in the first round. Peter Guber’s club fails to be one of the best teams in the MLS and is still competitive, but it needs to improve consistency to get into the playoffs. Maybe this season. LAFC is the conference leader with 30 points after 15 rounds and two games behind the vice-champion Real Solt Lake. And his story has just begun.

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."

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