It’s official: The Andre Horta era at Los Angeles Football Club is over.
The club announced on Monday morning they had transferred the Portuguese midfielder to Primeira Liga club Braga, the team he played for before joining the black-and-gold a year ago. The official release did not reveal any details of the deal, but previous reputable reports in both Portugal and the United States claimed Braga was paying somewhere around $2.6 million and LAFC would retain 50 percent of his rights, meaning if he was transferred again in the future, LAFC would get half the proceeds.
Horta, 22, struggled in his year with LAFC. Cleared to play in last year’s summer transfer window, his debut was inauspicious, as a brutal backpass in the El Trafico derby against the LA Galaxy, with LAFC leading 2-1, led to an equalizer and LAFC failed to beat their local rival all season as a result.
The player never seemed to mesh with Bob Bradley’s style of play, and while he dealt with several small injuries throughout his time with the club, he also never became the automatic starter most expected he would easily be, considering he was a Designated Player who cost a reported $6 million.
“We would like to thank André for his contribution to the Club,” said EVP of Soccer Operations & General Manager John Thorrington in a team statement. “This deal makes good sense for both LAFC and André, and we wish him the best in the next phase of his career at Braga.”
The end for Horta came a few weeks ago in LAFC’s 4-2 win over the Montreal Impact. He came off the bench, played 18 minutes with the team up big, but his inability to mesh with his teammates on the field and Bob Bradley calling him out postgame, if not actually using his name, made it apparent that the situation was unlikely to be turned around.
For LAFC, this means they have an open DP spot, and so expectations will be that they’ll be looking to fill that in the summer transfer window. Will that actually happen? Stay tuned, as selling Horta so quickly means they have given themselves some extra time to work with before the transfer window opens next month.
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