Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will be the honorary falconer for Sunday’s Los Angeles Football Club-New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer game at Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park.
One of the team’s four falcons is released before the start of each game 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.
LAFC enters the game with a league-best 16-3-4 record, including a 9-0-1 mark at home. The Red Bulls are fourth in the 12-team Eastern Conference with an 11-9-4 record.