The 2021 preseason is officially in the rearview mirror for the Black & Gold, as the Club wrapped up their exhibition season with a second-straight match against the New England Revolution on April 10.
“Another competitive, very good game with New England,” said LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley. “The past two Saturday’s I think the two teams have gone after each other in a real way and that certainly sets both teams up in a good way to start the season.”
The LAFC squad has made the most of the time together in the preseason to get themselves in form and on the same page, but on April 17, the real challenge starts.
LAFC faces new expansion club Austin FC, who will look to make a statement in their inaugural MLS match. Now entering their fourth season in the League, LAFC has an idea to make a points of their own.
“We’re excited for this year, said LAFC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye. “We want to get back to the type of football that everyone knows we’re capable of playing. Having a good preseason under our belt and knowing that this year looks a little more like a typical MLS season, we’re excited to get it going.”
After a difficult 2020 season, the LAFC players are now only focused on the path forward, and most importantly eyeing trophies to win, and not just the individual hardware that players like Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi and Eduard Atuesta and others have won in the past, but in the words of Vela, trophies “for everybody.”
“We’re really excited to start the season,” said Vela. “We have a new chance to play our football, do our best, and finally win a trophy. It’s our goal and we’re preparing ourselves to be better than last year and I hope we can do great things not just for us but for our fans, for everybody.”
Alright Alright Alright
There are still seven players remaining on LAFC’s roster who have been with the Club since its inaugural season in 2018. It was just a few short years ago that players including Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, Jordan Harvey, Latif Blessing, Mark-Anthony Kaye and Tristan Blackmon experienced firsthand what it felt like to go to a hostile stadium to try and make a strong impression on the rest of the league. All six played in LAFC’s inaugural match, a tough 1 – 0 victory over the Sounders in Seattle, and they know that Matthew McConaughey’s boys in green are going to be ready.
“Coming here, they’re going to play like it’s a World Cup Final,” said LAFC midfielder Latif Blessing. “They’re going to try their best because it’s a new MLS team and they want to win. We’re ready to receive them at our home.”
Tightening Up In Back
After falling quickly behind 2-0 to the Revolution on April 10 in the final preseason match, partly due to misplays by defenders, the entire squad is focused on cleaning up mental errors against Austin.
“There were a few personal errors that we can correct,” said LAFC defender Eddie Segura about the match vs. New England. "I think we should look ahead and take advantage of everything that happens and take it game by game. We are a strong team, and we just have to fight through it. We are a team with great players, and we’ve worked hard to prepare for everything that is to come and will continue to do so.”