One of the pleasures of a team opening training camp each year is trying to figure out who is in attendance. That’s certainly true of Los Angeles Football Club, especially with it being their first season, where supporters are feeding on any scrap that may tell them who will be on the team in 2018.
Sleuthing around has resulted in a few faces being uncovered. While I won’t pretend to recognize every player in the world by face, there are a few players who are not currently signed to announced deals with LAFC who have shown up in the first week of training camp.
The forward, who played for LAFC’s USL affiliate Orange County SC last year, was visible in the opening day team meeting video, but only from behind, making a truly positive ID impossible. But LA Soccer Nation got a pic of him in LAFC gear, making no mistake that he’s around:
Great to see @MDukeLacroix at @LAFC practice. #LAFC— LA Soccer Nation (@lasoccernation) January 24, 2018
: @itspescado pic.twitter.com/aCPbppxLM6
Lacroix, 24, started the 2017 season with OCSC well, scoring a brace in his debut. But his season was a mere five games, after he was hurt in Orange County’s home opener against LA Galaxy II, and he never suited up for the team again, presumably due to the injury.
Is Lacroix officially on trial with LAFC? That’s unclear, as his name has yet to emerge in the press, although any player who is training is more or less on trial, and when asked if any Orange County players would be brought into training camp, GM John Thorrington said yes, so it appears Lacroix is someone in that situation. Will he get an MLS deal? Time will tell.
The Honduran press has already made it clear the 24-year-old goalkeeper is in town, and sure enough, Lopez turns up at 0:09 of this video:
"Every day we have the challenge to make the football better."— LAFC (@LAFC) January 23, 2018
Bob has set the tone for #LAFC training camp. pic.twitter.com/9ldKfMtr2L
There’s been no footage of him actually training that I’ve uncovered, so he may be chilling on the side, but it’s hard to mistake the goalkeeper’s presence in LAFC training, meaning a deal for the Honduran international seems more a matter of when than if.
Update: Lopez’s signing was announced later in the day on Wednesday.
No, technically Beitashour’s signing has not been announced as of when I’ve published this, even though the defender has done his LAFC trademark reveal...
Going back to Cali... with @LAFC & @LAFC3252 #LAFC pic.twitter.com/dkcVcwKMiL— Steven Beitashour (@Sbeita33) January 22, 2018
...and Toronto FC have said au revoir publicly:
A warrior and a champion— Toronto FC (@torontofc) January 23, 2018
Thank you, @Sbeita33 pic.twitter.com/ptlJOwuqcO
But Beitashour is clearly in the training footage and photos in LAFC camp. You can clearly see him in the background, behind Carlos Vela, at the 0:25 second countdown mark on this video:
Day 2 complete.#LAFC pic.twitter.com/sIcYAQ7TDq— LAFC (@LAFC) January 24, 2018
This signing should be official any day now.
Update: The club announced the signing later in the day on Wednesday.
Bryan de la Fuente
One of the big surprises of training camp has to be forward Bryan de la Fuente. Still only 25 years old, de la Fuente has MLS experience, with two stints with Chivas USA (2010-11, 2013), to go with time abroad with Club Tijuana and two Armenian clubs, Ararat Yerevan and Shirak.
However, de la Fuente last played pro ball in 2016, and I can’t say his previous stints in MLS would indicate he’s able to contribute in a league that has improved substantially since the last time he was here. I think de la Fuente is technically on trial, but this seems more like a person brought in to help make up the numbers in camp, with an outside chance of earning a contract if he really impresses. We’ll see.
Spot any more players in LAFC training camp? Let us know!
What do you think? Leave a comment below!