Last week, LAFC announced their name (it's LAFC) and also dropped in the key mention that their start date in MLS will be 2018.
Well, maybe not.
A report from SI.com's Brian Straus on Monday says that the expansion club may not start play now until 2019. He does not cite any sources, but Straus is well-connected and says in an aside "a push back to 2019 is possible."
Given the uncertainty surrounding the timeline for actually constructing a brand new stadium in Los Angeles -- after completing the bureaucratic hoops remaining and demolishing the Sports Arena -- I suppose it isn't altogether surprising from a pragmatic perspective.
And that bid book for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles said LAFC's stadium wouldn't be ready until 2020, which seemed awfully surprising at the time, leaving me to wonder if they were picking a date out of thin air or if they had inside info. If that's the case, who knows? Maybe we'll get another tidbit in six months that it's being pushed back even more.
Either way, for a team that was initially announced to begin play in 2017, then 2018, and now maybe 2019 (or beyond, who knows), this is a very frustrating turn of events. Yes, real life takes over at times and some delays may be inevitable, and if things come off in the end, I guess having to wait longer and longer won't really matter. But this isn't a good look for a team that's hoping to make a splash in a market that already has a successful MLS team, and the further the goalposts are set away from now, the tougher it's going to be to build real momentum. Building an MLS team from scratch isn't an overnight endeavor, but waiting at least three and a half years, possibly more, to actually field a team seems like a worrisome proposition.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!