New LAFC defender Danilo Silva has had a career that’s come full circle on two separate occasions.
Born and raised in Brazil, Danilo Silva's professional career actually started in MLS. The defender was just 18 when he joined the NY/NJ MetroStars from a fifth division side in Brazil. But after just one season, he returned to his native country for four years before joining Ukrainian powerhouse Dynamo Kyiv for seven seasons.
By his admission, Kyiv is where he spent some of his best years as a professional. He played in both the Champions League and Europa Leauge with Kyiv, as well as winning a league title with the Ukrainian side. But Silva returned back to Brazil with the opportunity to spend more time with his family and rejoin his former Internacional side in Porto Alegre in 2017.
Thirteen years after his professional debut, MLS and a familiar head coach came calling once again.
"I didn't have to think twice about joining LAFC,” Silva said after training on Monday. “I wanted to be here because it was something that excited me.
"It's very good to be back playing for Bob. He helped me a lot when I was 18, and now he's given me another opportunity. I'm delighted to be playing for him again."
Joining LAFC on August 3, Silva made his debut for the Club two days later as a substitute in the 2-1 defeat to the New York Red Bulls. The defender received his first start on Saturday at Banc of California Stadium against Sporting KC. Despite the loss, the Brazilian was impressed by his new home.
“Incredible. Banc of California Stadium is incredible. A very pretty place,” Silva said. “The field is great and the fans are always chanting, having a good time, and helping us play strong football.”
Having first arrived in MLS thirteen years ago, even in just one season, Silva saw many of the growing pains the League had at the time. Now that he is back, Silva admits LAFC has raised the bar in its inaugural season.
“MLS has changed a lot. It was a young league back then. It had already been around a few years, but it had very few teams,” Silva said. “There are stronger teams now, and the infrastructure is wonderful in LA. I knew things were well here, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that things are even better.”
Now that he’s had a chance to experience some of what LA has to offer in his second stint in MLS, Silva was asked how Banc of California Stadium compares to some of the cathedrals of soccer around Europe and in his home country of Brazil. Taking a moment to reflect, he singled out an icon of Brazilian soccer.
“Ever since the World Cup [in 2014], Brazil now has a lot of great stadiums. I think ours resembles Maracanã,” Silva said. “The team I was playing for also has a great stadium, but I think ours is a bit more similar to Maracanã with the infrastructure and all the other great things in the stadium.”