Which comes first, the vision of what your new team will look like when it takes the field, or the players who will comprise it? There’s no easy answer to expansion soccer’s ultimate chicken-and-egg riddle.
As the coach of Los Angeles Football Club, which will kick off next year in its new stadium next to the LA Memorial Coliseum, Bob Bradley is back to creating a team from scratch. The existential question remains the same. Which comes first, the players or the plan? But Bradley is in an even better position to address it than he was two decades ago thanks to additional experience, more connections and greater purchasing power.
“As much as the league has grown, players still want a sense of what kind of team you’re trying to build,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to talk about what you’re trying to do, and it’s the same idea as some of those conversations I had 20 years ago. Only in this particular case, with the momentum that’s been established here in L.A. and obviously with the stadium going up so quickly, certainly there are a lot of good things that can be shared that give players an idea that it’s being done the right way.”