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LAFC midfielder Ilie Sánchez joined the Club as a free agent on Jan. 12. The 31-year-old defensive midfielder is a 2018 MLS All-Star and brings a wealth of experience from MLS and professional leagues in Spain and Germany.

Here is what you need to know about LAFC’s newest addition.

  • A Barcelona native, Ilie has a close-knit family who has spent extensive time in Kansas City while Ilie was playing for SKC.
  • Since FC Barcelona opened the famous Camp Nou Stadium in 1957, three generations of Ilie’s family has had Barcelona season tickets in the same seats.
  • Sánchez’s grandfather served as Director of Barcelona’s famed La Masia Youth Academy.
  • Has a older brother Yuri, who also played soccer at La Masia, and is now an economist in Barcelona. Ilie claims his brother is a better player than him.
  • Joined FC Barcelona’s Youth Academy in 1998, playing two years at La Masia.
  • Played at local Barcelona clubs U.E. Catalonia, P.B. Colibanc, and U.E Cornellá
  • Promoted to Barcelona B in 2009, helping the team earn promotion to La Liga 2 in his first professional season.
  • While with Barcelona B, Sánchez regularly trained alongside Barcelona legends like Messi, Dani Alves, Neymar and many others at the club’s state of the art training base.
  • Appeared in 114 games in five seasons with FC Barcelona B
  • Former Barcelona head coach and Spanish National Team coach Luis Enrique gave Ilie his first opportunity to play professionally in 2009 with Barcelona B.
  • Ilie considers Enrique one of his mentors and one of the best coaches he has ever had.
  • Signed with Bundesliga 2 side TSV Munich 1860 in 2014
  • Made 27 appearances for Elche CF in 2015
  • Joined Sporting KC in 2017 and was named SKC’s Newcomer of the Year
  • Immediately became a fan favorite in Kansas City
  • Won the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Championship with Sporting KC.
  • 2018 MLS All-Star and Sporting KC’s 2018 Club MVP.
  • Sporting Kansas City’s 2019 and 2021 Humanitarian of the Year
  • Has made 171 MLS appearances with SKC, scoring 11 goals and registering 13 assists.
  • Fan of Marvel movies – Iron Man is his favorite character and The Avengers is one of his favorite movies.
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