The Los Angeles Football Club will take to the field for the first time Monday, with the Major League Soccer expansion team set to participate in an approximately 90-minute training session at UCLA.
The creation of the team was announced on Oct. 30, 2014, three days after the league disbanded Chivas USA, which played for 10 seasons at StubHub Center in Carson. Its name was announced on Sept. 15, 2015.
“The name we chose is true to Los Angeles, authentic to world football and speaks to our global ambitions,” vice chairman and owner Henry Nguyen said at the time.
The team’s owners include Basketball Hall of Fame member Earvin “Magic” Johnson, actor Will Ferrell, National Soccer Hall of Fame member Mia Hamm Garciaparra and her husband, former Major League Baseball player Nomar Garciaparra, self-help author Tony Robbins and entertainment executive Peter Guber.
LAFC will begin play March 4 and play its first home game April 29 at Banc of California Stadium, under construction at the former site of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Exposition Park. Both the first game and home opener will be against Seattle Sounders FC.
There have been more than 20,000 season ticket deposits for the 22,000- seat stadium, a team official said.
LAFC’s roster includes four players who could play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup — Mexican forward Carlos Vela, Belgian defender Laurent Ciman, Costa Rican forward Marco Urena and Egyptian defender Omar Gaber.
The roster also includes two players raised in Orange County, midfielder Benny Feilhaber, an alumnus of Northwood High in Irvine who played 44 games with the U.S. national team, and defender Jordan Harvey, a graduate of Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo. Feilhaber and Harvey also both played at UCLA.
The team is coached by former U.S. men’s national team coach Bob Bradley.
LAFC will play preseason games against MLS Cup champion Toronto FC Feb. 2, New York City FC Feb. 8 and the Vancouver Whitecaps Feb. 18, all at UCLA and all closed to the public.
All training sessions are also closed to the public.
LAFC will train at Cal State Los Angeles following completion of a $30 million training center in the spring.
—City News Service