With the 2017 MLS SuperDraft being held on Friday in Los Angeles, the newest MLS team in the city, Los Angeles Football Club, made sure to have a presence at the proceedings.
Oh sure, they didn’t have any draft picks, with the team kicking off in 2018. But club staff was all over, from executive vice president of soccer operations John Thorrington making an appearance at the event in the draft’s back room, to LAFC managing owners Peter Berg and Bennett Rosenthal posing for a photo with MLS commissioner Don Garber at one point.
Great spending time with @LAFC ownership and fans at the #MLSSuperDraft pic.twitter.com/1kUGIgtZEx— Don Garber (@thesoccerdon) January 15, 2017
But the biggest impression came from LAFC supporters, who marched into the draft and set up an understandable dynamic with LA Galaxy supporters at the event.
While those Galaxy fans and some media in attendance grumbled at the loud nature of the LAFC supporters at the draft, the question really becomes — what should they have done?
@LAFC making all the noise #superdraft pic.twitter.com/8g7Fjy0mR3— lafcpodcast (@lafcpodcast) January 13, 2017
Waiting three full seasons for their team to hit the field, and having one of the premier MLS events right in their town, of course supporters were going to come out and make their presence known. Put another way, it would have been weird for them to not do it, right?
The first round of the @MLS #SuperDraft is now over.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) January 13, 2017
Next year, it's your turn @LAFC. pic.twitter.com/yHtrw0WL0Z
Scott French’s profile for FourFourTwo on the LAFC supporters who turned out at the draft on Friday included the tidbit that the seven supporters groups currently in existence will come together “under a single name to be determined.” So it appears all parties are confident the SGs will work together and continue to do so in the long term, something that is not always a guarantee.
Of course, the draft was not the only place where LAFC had a presence this week. At the NSCAA convention, also held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, LAFC’s U-12 academy side played in a coaching demonstration.
Our @LAFCAcademy U-12s put on a demonstration at the @NSCAA convention. pic.twitter.com/SnciPsYBdQ— LAFC (@LAFC) January 13, 2017
And LAFC was busy behind the scenes, asking national media members in town to come tour the stadium site and check out the new stadium experience center. Every single reporter who told me about their trip was impressed with what they saw, no easy feat for journalists who are often hardened against bells and whistles.
When asked about the opportunity for LAFC and Los Angeles as a whole in showing itself off during the soccer-centric events held in the city this week, Thorrington told Angels on Parade it was a good showcase.
“From everything I’ve heard, having it all in one location has been great,” he said. “You drive from [the MLS Combine] at Manhattan Beach instead of having to fly from Fort Lauderdale [where past MLS Combines have been held] to [past draft city] Baltimore. And I think despite the fact that it’s rained here for the first time in 10 years, it’s been a really beneficial experience for everybody.”
“I think it was a good showing of our city, and then when we come in I think it will add even more excitement,” Thorrington added.
The NSCAA convention and most likely, the MLS SuperDraft, is scheduled to return to Los Angeles in 2022. Conditions for LAFC will be far different at that point, but here’s hoping the show put on this week will be a sign of good things to come for the club and LA.
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