Benny Feilhaber is excited to be playing his soccer in Southern California once again. But the former Irvine Striker and UCLA Bruin is not quite as excited as his friends and family.
“There’s already been fights among friends over who’s getting tickets to what games. It’s going to be a lot of fun playing in front of everybody,” Feilhaber said at his LAFC unveiling.
Feilhaber joins LAFC after spending five seasons with Sporting KC, a stretch that included an MLS Cup and two Open Cups. While he’s excited to be back in LA, initially Feilhaber had mixed emotions after finding out he’d been traded.
”It was a mixed bag of emotions because as much as I was thrilled to come to LAFC, and it’s something that I’ve thought about over the last few months, it’s always hard to leave people that you know,” Feilhaber said.
But Feilhaber made it clear, the chance to play for a new club in the heart of LA was something he relished.
“It’s easy to see that this Club wants to be something special and it goes beyond just the soccer field,” Feilhaber said. “There’s no doubt about it, it starts with being a good team, fun to watch for the fans, and connecting with people around the city. Winning championships is always going to be a goal of every team but I think the way we are going about it is the right way. We are trying to connect with people in every part of LA. I think there is going to be a lot of true fans that are coming to the stadium or watching the games on TV. It’s really exciting to be a part of this group.”
Officially unveiled by LAFC on Wednesday, Feilhaber embarked on a media tour including stops at ESPN’s Heineken Boot Room and Nación ESPN before meeting his new Club firsthand at the LAFC Experience Center.
“It was fantastic. It’s funny because you don’t think about that kind of stuff,” said Feilhaber after being met with a round of applause from the entire LAFC staff.
“There’s been people that have been putting the hours in for maybe over a year, even though the team is only going to start playing its first game in March. So it’s awesome to see the work that people have done and you can see it in their faces how happy it makes them to see the team becoming a team. All their hard work is obviously appreciated by myself and I’m sure every player that has come into this team.”