Hollywood is set to premiere another club in MLS in 2018. The Los Angeles Football Club will make their debut on March 4. As an expansion club, LAFC has the ability to create their own identity from scratch. Before they kick off LAFC must answer three questions in 2018. Can they build a fanbase? Will they find success straight out of the gate? And will they add a third designated player?
LAFC Must Answer Three Questions in 2018
LAFC made an instant impression when they acquired former US men’s national team coach Bob Bradley and Mexican International Carlos Vela. Those are people that make an excellent foundation to build an organization. They impressed in the Expansion Draft getting a solid crew of five players ready to make an impact. The even added depth of experience levels with seasoned MLS veterans and youth during the MLS SuperDraft. An eclectic mix of talent is sure to bring excitement to Banc of California stadium this season.
If They Build It, Will They Come?
More excitement will need to come in the form of supporters. Los Angeles is a beautiful city known for its distractions. Locals have tons of options, with eight professional teams, including another MLS franchise, the LA Galaxy. This creates a challenge to put fans in seats. But this organization can boast about a centrally located soccer-specific stadium in the heart of downtown LA. That’s something their cross-town rivals cannot.
So far, many supporters groups have popped up. The LAFC front office was sure to meet the demands of the growing number of supporters in the city. Their answer, the 3252, named after the capacity for the standing room only section of Banc of California Stadium. The 3252 is an independent supporters union that will allow each separate supporter group to cheer on their club under one banner. And like most LA fans, they are ravenous for wins.
Will They Find Success Early on?
The pressure to win in the City of Angels is inherent. That’s especially the case when your crosstown rival is one of the most decorated clubs in MLS. It will be hard playing in a contentious and ever-changing landscape of the Western Conference. But it’s a task the players and coaching staff are ready to take head-on.
The first glimpse into the performance of LAFC was their first preseason match against Toronto FC. The matched ended in a 2-2 draw that saw the team’s budding chemistry begin to click. They are capable of great things, playing the defending champions to a draw even when their star DP is out. As the preseason draws on, the club will need to continuing building that rapport if they want to win early in the season.
Will They Add a Third Designated Player?
This is a question that has been on everyone’s lips since they signed their second DP, Diego Rossi. Many believed the next target for LAFC would be Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. Both players will help draw bigger crowds and help them be successful straight out of the gate. But as of right now it is just rumors and what ifs.
It is up to general manager John Thorrington to make the decision. There are reports of LAFC scouting in Portugal for that elusive third slot. It is still the off-season and would not be hard to see a team in LA make a dramatic signing now or during the season. It be will interesting to see if all these stars align for LAFC in their first-ever campaign.