Recap | LAFC 4-1 Vissel Kobe

Preview: LAFC vs Vissel Kobe

LAFC and Japanese club Vissel Kobe announced the two clubs will face off in a preseason friendly match on Thursday, Jan. 31 at Banc of California Stadium at 7:00 p.m. PT.

The star-studded team from the J-League features world football legends Andres Iniesta and David Villa, who led Spain to the 2010 World Cup title and are recognized as two of the greatest attacking players of all-time, as well as top German striker and 2014 World Cup winner Lukas Podolski.

Located in the city of Kobe and playing in Japan’s top Division, Vissel Kobe brings a trio of world soccer legends to play LAFC in the Heart of Los Angeles.

Celebrated as one of the all-time best midfielders in world football, Iniesta played 16 seasons for Barcelona, making 442 appearances and winning 33 trophies for the Spanish Club, including nine La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League championships. He is a nine-time FIFA World XI team member and was named to the UEFA Team of the Year six times. He played 131 times for Spain and combined with Villa to help Barcelona win the 2010 UEFA Champions League and the 2010 World Cup for Spain.

Known as one of the greatest goal scorers of his generation and perhaps the best Spanish striker of all-time, Villa announced he will join Vissel Kobe this month after scoring 80 goals in 124 MLS games for NYCFC. A veteran of Spain’s La Liga, Villa joined Iniesta and Barcelona in 2010, before leaving for Atletico Madrid in 2013 where he led them to the La Liga title with 13 goals.

Podolski is one of the most decorated players in German history, scoring 48 goals in 129 international appearances, making him the country’s fourth-highest all-time goal scorer. He was a member of Germany’s 2014 World Cup winning squad and starred for top international clubs such as Bayern Munich, Arsenal, and Galatasaray.

Opponent Form

Vissel Kobe is also in preseason as they tour the U.S. to tune up for the 2019 season. In their first match of the tour, Kobe played to a scoreless draw with the Columbus Crew down in Orange County. This match will be the second of preseason for both clubs.

What The Players Are Saying

Carlos Vela on facing Andres Iniesta, David Villa, and Lukas Podolski: "Always it's good to play against really good players. They've won World Cups and they're some of the best players in the world."

David Villa talks about playing at Banc of California Stadium: "It's a great city. It's an important city for MLS. One of the experiences in MLS. In my first year, the atmosphere in the stadium, the supporters, and how beautiful the stadium is, it was a great experience. I'm happy to have another experience there."

What To Watch For

Three World Cup Winners On One Pitch: In training, Bob Bradley said if you can't get excited to play against the likes of Iniesta, Villa, and Podolski, what can you get excited for? Hopefully, we'll see all three on the pitch together. The chance to see the Black & Gold go up against those three is well worth the price of admission. I'd recommend you just sit back and enjoy.

First Chance To See The Boys: The preseason match against Toronto FC was behind closed doors. We brought you some highlights and takeaways from the match but tonight marks the first time fans will get to see the team in the flesh. I expect Banc of California Stadium will be rocking and the North End will be in midseason form. Most players will go about 45 minutes in this match, but you'll get glimpses of the ideas the team has been working on throughout preseason camp. And if the Toronto match was any indication, we should see some goals.