Since its debut back in 2018 LAFC was born with high expectations. New club, in the heart of Los Angeles, owned by a long list of celebrities and ex athletes, the club was born to be big. A big part of the club’s success has been thanks to the decisions from the front office, especially from general manager John Thorrington.
The most important thing was to make the first season a big one and get into the playoffs, Thorrington did exactly that. The club finished 3rd in the West with 57 points, a record for an inaugural season. Thorrington built a winner from scratch, acquiring players like Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye and Latif Blessing. Players who would be crucial for LAFC in its second season where LAFC would break the regular season points record, winning the Supporters’ Shield.
Not everything was sunshine and rainbows for this club. LAFC missed the playoffs in 2021 for the first time in 4 years, until that point the club hadn’t won a regular season title. The Black and Gold also got close to winning the Concacaf Champions League in 2020 but lost the final against Tigers. Players like Diego Rossi, Walker Zimmerman and Mark-Anthony Kaye had left by the club by then and doubts within the fanbase grew about the front office’s ability to lead the club.
Things begin to change
In 2022 Thorrington and the club had the best year in club’s history. Thorrington was crucial in bringing players like Ilie Sanchez, Maxime Crepeau, Cristian Arango, Denis Bouanga, Gareth Bale, and Kellyn Acosta. LAFC also moved on from Bob Bradley as head coach and pointed Steve Cherundolo as coach. A group that would be crucial in the 2022 season where LAFC would win its second Supporters’ Shield and first MLS Cup.
Players like Arango, Bale, Escobar, Tello, Blessing, amongst others left the club in the offseason which meant the club had a lot of work to do to replace those players. The club did exactly that, bringing Stipe Biuk, Timothy Tillman, Aaron Long, and others.
So far the club is in the top three in the West and in the Concacaf Champions League semifinals. LAFC are the favorites to win MLS Cup again, the Champions League and the U.S Open Cup. It helps when you have a player like Bouanga who has 11 goals and 5 assists in 11 games so far this season, a clear candidate for MVP.
LAFC still have a DP spot open that seems like it will be filled in the summer on a striker. A reinforcement to an already dominant team.
It hasn’t always been easy or a nice time for LAFC. There were a lot of criticisms for the front office seen as how things were being handled when it came to player signings. All of those doubts have gone away and the fan’s trust on the club is the strongest it has ever been. LAFC still have a DP spot open that seems like it will be filled in the summer on a striker. A reinforcement to an already dominant team.