The boys are back!
Your first chance to see the 2020 LAFC squad is Saturday. The Black & Gold return to Banc of California Stadium to host Uruguayan giants Peñarol in an international friendly.
For many, it will feel a bit like the first day of school and a family reunion all in one. Back in your usual spot at the Banc, among friends and family, or maybe in a new seat for the first time with new friends and new family. Whether it's Day 1 or a homecoming, the Banc is the place to be as LAFC kicks off Season 3.
Here's a preview of Peñarol's visit to LA:
LAFC vs. Peñarol | Jan. 25 at 7:30pm | Buy Tickets
Like LAFC, Diego Forlán's team is prepping for 2020. On Wednesday, they defeated the Seattle Sounders 1-0 in a match broken up into 30-minute increments. After capturing the title in consecutive seasons, Peñarol came second behind rivals Nacional in 2019. It will be up to Forlán to prepare his side to restore its place atop the Primera in Uruguay in 2020.
What To Watch For
Striving For Fitness: Keep in mind this is the starting line of a marathon, not a sprint. Players have been in preseason for two weeks and while their fitness levels are inherently high, there's no expectation to go 90 minutes in the first match. Most players will get a half though. I think we can expect 45 minutes out of most players. Some may have 60 minutes in their legs. But expect to get a chance at seeing nearly all the players take the pitch at some point.
Connections: The link between LAFC and Peñarol, and LAFC and Uruguay in general, has become a hot topic of conversation. Having found Diego Rossi, a 15 and 16-goal scorer in each of his first two seasons in MLS, and Brian Rodríguez, a player that since arriving at LAFC has become a full-fledged member of the senior Uruguay national team, LAFC has a bit of proof of content in their still unfolding, long-term plan. This friendly is a further extension of the relationship between the two clubs.
Take Chances: If I'm a player in this friendly, especially one trying to make the squad, I'd be out there taking some chances. Show some personality in your play and be proactive. And I think that goes for both LAFC and Peñarol. These two sides have carved out definitive ideas of what they stand for and the type of football they attempt to produce. Players should be inspired by those concepts. And with the atmosphere at Banc of California Stadium, there should be no deficit in energy to draw from.