Steven Beitashour hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to new facilities in MLS.
Starting his career with the San Jose Earthquakes, the defender was there when the team broke ground on Avaya Stadium in 2012, only to leave in 2014, just a year shy of the stadium’s grand opening. The team he left for, the Vancouver Whitecaps, were in the process of building a $32.5 million training facility when he arrived. Once again, Beitashour was a year too soon, as the Whitecaps opened the facility after he’d been traded to Toronto.
On Wednesday, Beitashour finally caught a break.
“It’s nice to finally be on the receiving end and see the new stuff,” Beitashour said from the pitch of LAFC’s new training facility.
Built on the campus of Cal State LA, the LAFC Performance Center officially opened its doors this week. The $30 million investment, in addition to a $1.6 million partnership with the university to be used in renovating existing facilities around campus and creating new master’s program in which students get hands-on experience with the Club, is already getting rave reviews from its new tenants.
“It’s incredible,” Tyler Miller said following training. “It’s definitely one of the nicest professional environments that I’ve been able to train in. It’s modern, state of the art, and it just meets all of our needs as a professional soccer player.”
Asked how the training facility compares to his past clubs in Europe like Arsenal and Real Sociedad, Carlos Vela echoed the sentiments of his teammate.
“It’s really nice. I think it’s really modern,” Vela said. “We have everything. Now we have no excuse to not play good.”
Complete with gold-winged accents, floor to ceiling windows, and open floor plan, the 30,000 sq. foot LAFC training facility houses coaches and technical staff offices, medical facilities, player dining, and a weight room all under one roof. For Bob Bradley, the facility’s design is another testament to LAFC ownerships’ commitment to “doing things the right way.”
“I can’t say enough. In terms of our organization setting the bar so high. To have a professional place where we come every day, where the field is perfect, where inside the building players can interact, we can work, we can look at video, we are so fortunate to be able now to come here every day. We’ve already said that the appreciation for our ownership, for having the vision to do things the right way, at such a professional level, it speaks volumes and says what this organization is all about. We’re very excited to be here.”
In addition to benefitting the players currently at the Club, Bradley also looked to the future and how the facility can attract world-class talent going forward.
“Whenever an organization does things the right way from the top, the facilities, the stadium, the kind of surface that you play on every day... All of those things are important,” Bradley said. “Because when you are looking around the world to attract players, they want to go into a situation where they can improve, where they can be a part of something that is special. And we’re in the early moments here, but I think the starting points are fantastic.”
Finally getting his timing right in arriving at LAFC just before the opening of the new training facility and soon a new stadium on April 29, Beitashour knows players outside the Club will take notice.
“That was one of the selling points for people in Toronto. Look at the training facility, they have everything you need there. Now this is a selling point here,” Beitashour said.
“You have everything that you need here. It’s great.”