Black-and-gold, meet another black-and-yellow club.
That’s the word from Uruguay giant Peñarol, with club executives claiming in the last 24 hours that they will play a friendly against Los Angeles Football Club in 2020.
Treasurer Isaac Alfie explained on a radio show on Sport 890 in Uruguay on Thursday the purported details of Brian Rodriguez’s transfer from Peñarol to LAFC for a reported $11.5 million. While that’s unquestionably the biggest news, a secondary story is that Alfie claims Peñarol will come stateside, with one report unsure whether they would play just a friendly or in a preseason tournament in LA.
“There is the game that we are going to play in the USA. We may do the whole pre-season in January there; [LAFC] are betting on the Champions League and there are other things. There are currently two Peñarol players there, Diego Rossi, who is exceptional, and Brian, who will be too,” said Alfie.
To date, LAFC have played two international friendlies: During the 2018 season, in May, against Bundesliga giant (and fellow black-and-yellow side) Borussia Dortmund, and this past preseason against J-League club Vissel Kobe.
As Alfie’s quote indicates, if LAFC win a title (or possibly if they don’t, if they “win” the Western Conference regular season but don’t win the Supporters’ Shield or MLS Cup), they will qualify for the 2020 Concacaf Champions League. Scheduling is not yet revealed, but based on previous years it would likely get underway in February, with the MLS season said to be starting in February next year as well.
So, this makes sense because LAFC seems to prefer preseason friendlies as it doesn’t get in the way of competitive games, a game against a good international team (currently in the Copa Sudamericana) would give something of a tune-up ahead of CCL if LAFC qualify for next year’s tournament, and the fact that LAFC have bought one player from Peñarol (Rossi) and are reportedly buying another (Rodriguez) would continue the good relationship between the clubs while also representing a money-making opportunity makes a whole lot of sense. It’s probably not a totally done deal yet, but don’t be surprised if LAFC announce a friendly (or maybe a preseason tourney!) involving Peñarol next year. We’ll keep you posted.
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