The nature of Major League Soccer, and any top American sport for that matter, ensures that you never quite know when a new team is going to enter the equation. In Europe the promotion and relegation system means that you’ll always be aware of who and what is coming the following season. Alas, because the MLS is still so young, there is always going to be the threat of expansion teams coming in and stirring everything up.
Case in point: LAFC, also known as Los Angeles Football Club. The Black and Gold (no, not Wolverhampton Wanderers) play at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California, and they’re managed by legendary American boss Bob Bradley. If that wasn’t enough they’ve also been able to hit the ground running since playing their first game in the league last year, making the playoffs in their very first season.
Good times are here
Despite not being able to win the MLS Cup they certainly showcased a great deal of potential, and despite sharing the city’s market with LA Galaxy, they were already coming across as the team to beat within the region.
This year, though, things have gone better than anyone could’ve possibly imagined – with MLS Soccer confirming that they are now situated at the top of the Western Conference. So far this season they’ve been able to win six of their seven games with the other being a draw, showcasing their upward trajectory from just a few short years ago.
Hell, even on ESPN they have LAFC as the top team in the Power Rankings, and that’s not something to shake your head at or dismiss. The early portion of any given campaign can be incredibly vital for a team’s success or failure, and LA are treating their fans to some great football.
This recent surge of good fortune has led many to wonder whether or not Los Angeles FC will go in the same direction as Atlanta United. The Georgia-based expansion team also burst into the limelight in a big way, but in an improved manner: as they were able to capture the MLS Cup. However, this season, they haven’t quite been able to sustain their good times up to this point.
We aren’t trying to suggest that this is exactly how things are going to go for LAFC, but it’s worth noting that with a big high can come quite a few big lows. They need to realise and understand the position that they’re in, because momentum can only take you so far.
They’ve got the kind of infrastructure that you need to be a sustainable team at the top of the MLS for many years to come, but it’s all about not getting too carried away. Some players may choose to believe that this division is far too easy, which could lead to them sitting back and getting complacent.
That’s the last thing they need right now, especially with such a tough schedule ahead of them.
They need to focus on their positives at this moment in time, but in the back in their mind, they need to understand what is at stake.