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LAFC 2023 Season Preview

LAFC: 2023 Smokescreen Kit

Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: Nine or 10 starters from last year’s MLS Cup/Supporters’ Shield double-winners return. I can confirm that is good.
  • Weakness: For now, the No. 9 spot’s a big old question mark after selling Chicho Arango to Liga MX’s Pachuca this winter.

Key Departures

  • Cristian Arango: Star forward Cristian Arango left Los Angeles this winter, getting transferred to Liga MX reigning champions Pachuca. The Colombian international tallied 30g/7a in 51 appearances (43 starts) over a year and a half with LAFC.
  • Latif Blessing: An LAFC original, Latif Blessing was selected in the club’s Expansion Draft before their debut 2018 season. A key member of the club’s history, Blessing made 145 regular-season appearances before being traded to New England in early January.
  • Gareth Bale: One legendary player, one iconic moment in MLS before retirement. Gareth Bale was never quite fit during half a season at LAFC, but scored one of the most memorable goals in MLS history – the Welsh legend’s equalizer deep into stoppage time in extratime of MLS Cup 2022. LAFC would go on and win in penalty kicks.

Key Acquisitions

  • Aaron Long: After winning the MLS Cup/Supporters’ Shield double, LAFC went out and signed USMNT center back Aaron Long in free agency. The former New York Red Bulls captain is a one-time MLS Defender of the Year (2018) and is approaching 150 league appearances.
  • Stipe Biuk: LAFC bolstered their attack by landing highly-rated Croatian youth international Stipe Biuk from Hajduk Split. The 20-year-old winger, signed on a U22 Initiative deal, was a finalist for the 2022 “Golden Boy Award,” an annual award crowning Europe’s best young player.
  • Timothy Tillman: German-American midfielder Timothy Tillman arrived from 2. Bundesliga side Greuther Fürth, offering LAFC crucial depth at a much-needed spot. A product of Bayern Munich’s youth system, he tallied 2g/6a in 86 games across Germany’s top two divisions.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Season preview - 2023 - LAFC lineup


  • Marcelo Balboa: 1st in West
  • Charles Boehm: 2nd in West
  • Tom Bogert: 3rd in West
  • Matt Doyle: 2nd in West
  • David Gass: 1st in West
  • J. Sam Jones: 1st in West
  • Sacha Kljestan: 5th in West
  • Kaylyn Kyle: 2nd in West
  • Joseph Lowery: 1st in West
  • Melissa Ortiz: 4th in West
  • Danielle Slaton: 1st in West
  • Andrew Wiebe: 3rd in West
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips: 1st in West

Odds & Ends

  • Head coach: Steve Cherundolo
  • Stadium: BMO Stadium
  • Last year: 21W-9L-4T, 67 points, 1st in West
  • Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: MLS Cup champion