After opening preseason training for the 2024 season on Jan. 21, the Black & Gold faced their first test of the preseason on Sunday, Jan. 28, hosting Danish club FC Nordsjaelland in a closed door match at the LAFC Performance Center.
Eleven total LAFC first team players were available for selection, with the rest of the roster filled out by LAFC2 players, LAFC Academy players and trialists.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys that we are bringing along and getting good minutes and getting integrated and learning the system,” LAFC defender Aaron Long said. “As the weeks start to stack up and guys come together, things will get rolling. We’ve got a great environment here and everyone is doing a lot of hard work.”
Veteran defenders Ryan Hollingshead, Aaron Long, Jesus Murillo and Sergi Palencia started the match for the Black & Gold, who gave up the first goal before former LAFC Academy product Nathan Ordaz leveled the match. Nordsjaelland scored just before halftime to go up 2-1 at the break.
“It felt good,” Ordaz said about registering the first goal of LAFC’s 2024 preseason. “I got a breakaway and was able to shoot it and thankfully it went in. Hopefully I can keep doing that and making a difference.”
The second 45 minutes saw wholesale changes for both clubs, with Academy and LAFC2 players getting the opportunity to face the Danish visitors.
Nordsjaelland would add a second half goal in transition to give them a 3-1 lead, but the final score was not the focus for LAFC in their first match-up of 2024.
“It’s been really good this week,” Long said. “It’s been a lot of hard work – a lot of fitness as we get back into it.”
Ordaz was happy to be back on the field with the team after a short off-season break.
“This first week of training has been fun,” Ordaz said. “I missed it – so it feels good to be back playing the sport that we all love. Now we’re just trying to get back in the groove. We’ve got to get the chemistry going, get our bodies going and get the touch going. I think at the start of the season we will be ready.”
LAFC resumes preseason training on Tuesday, Jan. 30 and faces Charlotte FC in a closed door preseason match on Feb. 3.