One of the most popular soccer clubs in Major League Soccer (MLS) is Los Angeles Football Club, commonly referred to as LAFC. The club is an American professional soccer franchise based in Los Angeles, California. LAFC competes in MLS as a member of the Western Conference.
The team plays its home games at the Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park, which has a capacity of 22,000-seat. The team shares the Los Angeles area market with the LA Galaxy, and the two clubs compete in a rivalry dubbed El Tráfico.
The club’s colors and logo were unveiled on January 7, 2016, at Union Station. The club’s primary colors are black and gold, with red and gray used as accent colors. LAFC supporters are known collectively as “The 3252”, a reference to the number of seats in the safe standing supporters section at Banc of California Stadium, as well as adding up to 12, a reference to the supporters being the team’s 12th man.
On October 30, 2014, Major League Soccer awarded a new expansion team to Los Angeles, filling the vacancy in the market created by the dissolution of Chivas USA three days earlier. On September 15, 2015, the club announced that Los Angeles Football Club, which had previously been used as a placeholder name for the club, would be the official team name.
Henry Nguyen, Los Angeles FC’s principal owner at the time, hinted at this possibility shortly after the club was announced in describing the name as “timeless” LAFC announced Bob Bradley as its head coach in July 2017, joining general director John Thorrington in a search for players. Mexican midfielder Carlos Vela was signed as the club’s first designated player on August 11, 2017.
On March 4, 2018, LAFC played its first MLS game, a 1–0 win against Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. LAFC designated player Diego Rossi scored the club’s first-ever competitive goal in the 11th minute, assisted by Vela.
On March 31, 2018, LAFC suffered its first MLS loss, giving up a 3–0 lead to lose 4–3 to LA Galaxy in the MLS debut of Zlatan Ibrahimović. LAFC was the second team ever to lose an MLS game after leading 3–0 during the match.
Despite the loss, LAFC won 4 of the 6 games on their road trip to start the season, becoming the first team to earn 12 points from a season-opening road trip of 6 games or more. They finished the season with 7 road wins which is the most for an expansion team in the post-shootout era.
LAFC accomplished the best regular season for an MLS expansion team, earning 57 points. The total surpassed the 56 picked up the 1998 Chicago Fire, also coached by Bob Bradley, as well as the post-shootout era record of 55 set in 2017 by Atlanta United.
LAFC’s seven road wins also tied for the most ever by an expansion team in the pre or post-shootout-era with the ’98 Fire who had two road wins come via the shootout. They finished second all-time in goals scored by an expansion team in a season, with 68, just behind Atlanta’s 70.
On October 6, 2018, LAFC clinched its first playoff spot after a 3–0 victory against the Colorado Rapids finishing third in the West, but were knocked out at home in the first round in a 3–2 loss to sixth-place Real Salt Lake. LAFC had appeared for the first time, in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League and advanced in the round of 16 after defeating León 3–2 aggregate after going down 2–0 after the first leg.
Mexican international Carlos Vela is the highest-paid player in LAFC. The striker earns $4,500,000 per week.
LAFC player salaries for 2019, as released by the MLS Players Union, as of June 1, 2019.