Tuesday’s announcement that LAFC had acquired left back Omar Campos from Santos Laguna of Liga MX coincided with Campos’ first visit to LAFC’s Performance Center, where the 21-year-old Mexico City native was welcomed by teammates and staff.
LAFC’s season opener on February 24 won’t be the first match Campos has played in Los Angeles (see below), and with a contract that runs through 2027, Campos and his new Club are planning on many, many more. “We are confident this move to LAFC will be a positive one for Omar and our club in our pursuit of more trophies,” Club Co-president & GM John Thorrington said.
Campos started both of Santos Laguna’s matches in the group stage of Leagues Cup 2023. He played all 90 minutes of Santos’ 2-2 draw with eventual MLS Western Conference finalists Houston Dynamo on July 25. Houston prevailed on penalties, 5-4. Campos also went the distance against Orlando City on July 29 at Exploria Stadium. Santos fell 3-2 after Orlando scored in the second minute of stoppage time.
Campos made his first appearance for the Mexican National Team last month at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum—right next door to his new home pitch, BMO Stadium. In that friendly against Colombia on Dec. 17, 2023, Mexico put forth a young starting eleven that was outscored by a veteran Colombian side, 3-2. (Cucho Hernández of Columbus and Andres Gomez of Real Salt Lake scored once each for the Colombians.)
Campos, who came on in the 81st minute, said this week that that match means more to him now that he is playing for a team in Los Angeles. “I am excited to play on this level now. I want to have a big season.”
BLACK & GOLD STANDARD
Campos has “watched many LAFC games,” he said, adding that the Club caught his eye “because it’s a big Club that always strives to win championships. What I have seen on TV makes me excited about joining LAFC.”
Campos said the player he most admired growing up was Marcelo, the 35-year-old Brazilian legend who currently plays for Fluminense in Brazil’s top tier but was a fixture at left back for Real Madrid between 2007 to 2022—and is that club’s most decorated player, with 25 trophies won.
“I appreciate the way he plays the position on the biggest stage,” Campos said.
IT TAKES TWO
Campos will wear number 2 for LAFC, which came available when defender Denil Maldonado departed LA for an opportunity in Romania’s first division. Campos debuted for Club Santos in 2021 wearing number 190 (Mexican clubs often assign three-digit numbers to academy players to avoid conflicts with more senior players) but soon switched to 2 because it “suits me well.”
The Los Angeles Football Club will kick off its seventh season of MLS play on February 24, at 1:30 p.m. PT, when it hosts Seattle Sounders FC at BMO Stadium. The game will be televised on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, and on Fox. Get tickets.