Los Angeles Football Club announced their end-of-season roster moves on Thursday, giving an indication of the team’s plans heading towards 2020.
LAFC announced they picked up the 2020 contract options for defenders Tristan Blackmon and Mohamed El-Munir, and forwards Adrien Perez and Josh Pérez.
In addition, LAFC declined the options of defenders Lamar Batista and Dejan Jaković, and midfielders Javier Perez and Peter-Lee Vassell.
Defenders Steven Beitashour and Jordan Harvey will be out of contract and are eligible for free agency. Additionally, the loan agreement for goalkeeper Phillip Ejimadu has expired, and Ejimadu will return to Nacional Atlético Clube.
They have extended a bonafide contract offer to goalkeeper Tyler Miller, which means they will retain his MLS rights. Either he needs to sign the contract, force a trade to another MLS team, or go abroad as a free agent.
LAFC noted they are in talks with “several out-of-contract players.” At present, LAFC’s roster is at 18 players.
Complicating all of this is the upcoming new collective bargaining agreement between players and the league, which could substantially change MLS roster rules, or change little to nothing. Teams are likely to either move conservatively or try to make the most of the rules as currently constructed before they change, and so it could be an odd offseason as a result.
I expect some of the players not currently on the roster will be back in 2019, and that could very well include Beitashour and/or Harvey, both players aging but coming off very good seasons, perhaps to move to a more depth role.
I also wouldn’t be shocked if Miller signs the deal and is the starter in 2020, as while he ended the season in rocky form he was outstanding for the first half of the season and has grown into his role as a starter since getting the gloves to begin LAFC’s history. It’s far from guaranteed, but don’t assume he’s out the door, especially with a contract offer in hand from LAFC.
As for the depth pieces, maybe a few of them come back but those I haven’t mentioned aren’t necessarily key players. Among the players on the roster, I think Rodolfo Zelaya is moved on, probably via transfer abroad, while Alejandro Guido and Danilo Silva may not be assured to be on the roster when the 2020 season kicks off.
Of course, nothing in life is guaranteed, etc. We’ll see what moves LAFC makes in the coming weeks, but this is the starting point for the 2020 roster.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!