Banc of California Stadium

Players Know Supporters Will Be Behind Them At Home Opener

Players Know Supporters Will Be Behind Them

Supporters In North End At LAFC Open House 2018 IMG

Tyler Miller feels sorry for opposing goalkeepers at Banc of California Stadium.

Not because Carlos Vela is lurking in Black & Gold. Or because of Diego Rossi’s darting runs into the box. Not even because Laurent Ciman could unleash a lightning strike from 30-odd yards away.

No, Miller feels bad because the goals at either end are so close to the stands in the stadium.

“When you have a section of seats that people literally aren’t allowed to sit down, I can only imagine it’s going to be pretty rowdy. Honestly, I feel bad for the opposing goalie because it’s never easy when they are that on top of you,” Miller said of his opposite number’s plight. “You’re trying to communicate to defenders and they literally can’t hear a single word that you’re saying, even if they are 20 yards away.”

After starting their inaugural season on a six-match road trip, LAFC players are in training this week knowing there won’t be any flights or travel involved before their match on Sunday. It’s a feeling they’re unfamiliar with, but welcome.

“It’s been a different feel for sure,” said midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye after training. “I think knowing we don’t have to go on the road, maybe lose a day of training to travel, it’s going to wonders for the guys leading up to the game. We’re just happy to play in this big stadium. It’s unbelievable.”

Miller thinks the prospect of a home match has the squad turning up the intensity in training as well.

“I think everybody is itching to get in that 18 for Sunday because they know how special it’s going to be to be out on the field,” Miller said. “Everybody is pushing and trying, but at the end of the day there is only 18 guys that get to dress for the game and only 11 guys that get to start.”

Prior to their trip to Montreal, LAFC players did have a chance to play on the pitch at Banc of California Stadium for the first time following the stadium's ribbon-cutting ceremony. The full-sided scrimmage took place in front of a handful of people attending the ceremony.

Despite Banc of California not officially in use for a competitive match as of yet, players aren’t having to tax their imaginations too much to imagine what it will be like to step on the pitch come Sunday against the Sounders.

“We haven’t had a home game yet, but we had a lot of interaction with them. They’ve made their voices heard and it’s been exciting,” defender Steven Beitashour said of the LAFC Supporters. “We got a little glimpse of it against the Galaxy, the numbers we have and how loud and passionate they are. If that’s a glimpse of what it’s going to be like on Sunday, things are going to be looking good.”

After seeing the travelling support the Club received through preseason and into the six-match road trip, Kaye agrees with his teammate’s assessment of what the atmosphere at Banc of California Stadium will be like.

“I think it will be top class, to be honest,” Kaye said. “I don’t think they are going to hold back at all. Even seeing them when we played in Carson, at StubHub Center, there were just so many in a small section of the stadium. And they were louder than the LA Galaxy fans. So imagine a stadium full of them.”

“That is definitely going to be our 12th man going forward. I’m just excited to finally be able to see them do their work. This is their big moment.”

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