Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Nomar Garciaparra will be the honorary falconer for Sunday’s Los Angeles Football Club-Portland Timbers Major League Soccer match at Banc of California Stadium.
One of the team’s four falcons is released before the start of each match for a pregame flight at the center of the field, hunting a lure of the opponent’s crest.
Each falcon is named for a famous Los Angeles street, inspired by the team’s promise to, “Unite the world’s city through the world’s game: street by street, block by block, one by one.”
Olly, named for Olvera Street, is a female red-naped shaheen and has a 46-inch wingspan.
Sunny, named for Sunset Boulevard, is a female Barbary falcon, a breed known as one of the quickest falcons in the air and for relentless pursuits.
Fig, named for Figueroa Street, is a male Saker falcon, with a grandparent from the Mongolian mountains.
Mel, named for Melrose Avenue, is Fig’s brother and also a male Saker falcon.
The falcons visit schools and organizations to teach youth about falcons and their importance to the environment.
Garciaparra is a member of LAFC’s ownership group, as is his wife, National Soccer Hall of Fame member Mia Hamm Garciaparra.
A limited number of tickets remained available Saturday night and the game is expected to be sold out, a team official told City News Service.
LAFC sold out all 17 regular-season matches and its lone playoff match last season at the 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park and last Sunday’s 2-1 season-opening victory over Sporting Kansas City.
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