Sure, LAFC won't begin MLS play until 2018, which feels like an eternity in soccer terms, but could they already be on the hunt for players?
For example, Mexican superstar Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is on the outs at Manchester United, according to his agent, and is looking for a new team in Europe (presumably not Real Madrid) or if that doesn't pan out, maybe even MLS.
So could LAFC swoop in for him this summer? It appears unlikely, of course, especially with the $250 million cost of a stadium on the docket first and foremost, and play not beginning for two-and-a-half years. But if they really wanted to lock him up and get the new MLS team off the ground in style, they could do it.
Could LAFC keep Chicharito close to home by signing him and loaning him to another MLS club? That appears to be out of the question, at least based on the published roster rules for intraleague loans. Most notably, intraleague loan players have to be 24 years old or younger. Chicharito is currently 27, so unless there's a secret mechanism where the league would allow this for an expansion team, that's out.
However, LAFC could hold Hernandez's player rights and make some money by loaning him out abroad. In particular, while he's found some tough sledding in getting regular appearances for Manchester United or Real Madrid in recent years, he still has market value in Europe, and he could remain a prominent player while waiting for March 2018 to arrive. He could also be loaned to a Mexican club, but somehow I doubt his former club Chivas in particular will be a high priority for MLS, following the Chivas USA debacle and Erick "Cubo" Torres having tons of trouble getting time on loan with them this past season.
It's a long shot, but could it happen? If the player and the team are both willing, it's certainly possible. I'd add that we can't count on this, but it's a signing that would make a lot of sense for 2018. There's just the matter of getting to that point that all parties would have to agree upon.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!