Training Report

Notes from Training | Matchday 20

Red-hot LAFC visits Austin to continue a two-game summer tour of the American South

LAFC training winners Ilie Segura Kamara Hollingshead Duenas Chanot 052824

After defeating Atlanta United on the road three-and-a-half weeks ago, LAFC came home to Los Angeles, overpowered Western Conference foes Minnesota United and FC Dallas, then left again, destined for two more of the most hospitable – and most humid – cities in the southern United States: Orlando and Austin.

LAFC’s 3-1 defeat of Orlando City SC last weekend, in 90-degree heat, pushed the Black & Gold (10W-4L-3D) into fourth place in the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings, and extended its winning streak across all competitions to eight games, the longest such streak in LAFC’s history.

The team has also won three straight on the road in MLS play, something that last year’s Western Conference championship squad did not accomplish, and that the MLS Cup winners of 2022 did just once.

In Orlando, LAFC narrowly missed setting a new MLS record for consecutive shutout wins—that streak ended at five—but its defending remained impressive, allowing the Lions just one shot on goal over 90 minutes. Following that match, head coach Steve Cherundolo said that he had wanted to see his team manage the game better in possession “and we were unable to do that.” The issue was still on his mind at Tuesday’s media session in Austin.

“We've talked about the performance in Orlando,” Cherundolo said. “There was some good, there was some not so good, and things we definitely need to improve on. But the overall effort was there, the fight was there, and some clinical finishing was also there. Those are very important components to winning games on the road in our league, which we'll need again tomorrow night against an Austin team at home that's very hungry.”


“It's a tough place to play,” Cherundolo said when asked about the Verde’s 5W-2L-2D home record this season. “It's hot. And like most MLS teams, you look to win your home games by pressing, by being more active, by being the proactive team. They've achieved that in their home games, and they've been finishing their chances.”

Austin has scored 17 goals in its nine home matches, but just four goals in the nine games it has played away from Q2 Stadium.


With no trip home to Southern California following the Orlando win, Cherundolo has turned the last three days into a team retreat of sorts. “We give the players the freedom to kind of plan their days with themselves,” he said. “We train in the evening at Austin's facilities. Training is more recovery than anything tactical or formational, obviously, but it's mostly recovery and reminding the players’ bodies about certain habits and traits and behaviors but nothing too crazy training-wise. And during the day, again, players have the freedom to plan their days for themselves. And we have a couple team dinners planned outside of the hotels to break up the atmosphere a little bit.”

The team enjoyed a regeneration day in Orlando, renting paddleboats and cruising on Lake Lucerne. Tuesday in Austin, some players and support staff received a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the Austin Circuit of the Americas (COTA) – home of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix and the Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas.

“I really like the way Steve manages the squad,” said LAFC defender Maxime Chanot, who re-joined the team in Austin after playing two international friendlies for Luxembourg last week. “The fact that he gave us a lot of freedom, that's good, especially when you travel a lot, you sometimes need to be a little bit away from your teammates, stay on your own. That's what I do, to be honest, I try to call my family, watch a movie. I don't do much, especially because of my long trip back [from] Europe. I'm a little bit tired, so I need to try to get some rest as much as possible.”


“It's always nice to go back home [to] Europe, to represent your home country, which is a great honor for me,” Chanot added. “We had two nice games … we competed against France and Belgium, probably with two of the best teams in the world. Unfortunately, we didn't get any results, but it was expected, to be honest— especially when you play against the best players in the world. So I'm glad to be back.”

The day before Luxembourg’s friendly against France on June 5, Chanot “crossed paths,” he said, with Olivier Giroud, the French team’s all-time leading goal scorer, who will join LAFC this summer after signing with the Black & Gold in May. “We started talking about how exciting it is to join the Los Angeles Football Club,” Chanot said of their chance meeting. “He follows all of the results, he knows exactly where we stand. I was very surprised to be honest, because he knows already, like, probably every player in the squad, every result we had the past few weeks. So we joked about this. He is super excited to come in, and obviously we are looking forward to having him with us. It's gonna be a fun time to play all together.”

Chanot, who played eight seasons for New York City Football Club (2016-2023) before finishing last year in France, said, “I left the league [MLS] last season, and I think my business was not done yet. I just personally want to show, like, I'm still one of the top center backs in the league. It can feel like I'm [lacking] humility, but it's not that at all. I know who I am. I know the level I have. And basically, what I want is— I just want to show everybody in this league I'm still a top defender.

“Most important now for me is to compete, to play as much games as I can, and obviously help the team to reach the objective, which means winning another trophy. So that’s my two major objectives … to show everybody I'm still there, and obviously to win a trophy with LAFC would be just amazing.”


LAFC is one of three MLS teams who have won 10 league games so far in 2024— FC Cincinnati and Inter Miami are the others. Inter Miami has played 19 games to LAFC’s and Cincinnati’s 17.

LAFC earned its 10th win in its 17th game of this season. Last year’s Western Conference championship squad needed 22 games to get to 10 wins. The 2022 MLS Cup champions needed 16 games.

LAFC returns to BMO Stadium to face the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. PT. Tickets are available here.

LAFC faces Austin FC on Wednesday, June 19, at 5:30 p.m. PT. The match can be seen for FREE on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, and heard on 710 AM ESPN LA, the ESPN LA app, and 980 AM La Mera La Mera [Español].

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