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Kenneth Vermeer signs for LAFC, and recap of Kobe Bryant at The Banc

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Here’s your Thursday links!

Dutch Toto KNVB Cup”sc Cambuur Leeuwarden v Feyenoord”

The big news around Los Angeles Football Club on Wednesday was the signing of goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer, added as a Targeted Allocation Money player from Dutch club Feyenoord. Vermeer is 34, but has won six league titles in the Netherlands and Belgium and has played nearly 300 games in his career.

What does this mean? Sure looks like Tyler Miller’s time with LAFC is over. Fans are thoroughly mixed on the American’s tenure with the club, but remember he was likely tabbed to be Luis Lopez’s backup in 2018, but the Honduran’s injuries gave Miller an opening and he took it with both hands. Don’t forget, either, that Miller was stellar in the first half of 2019, before his call-up to the USMNT seemed to be his undoing. Maybe it was time to move on from Miller, but don’t be shocked if he finds a new spot and blossoms in the coming years. Meanwhile, here’s hoping Vermeer brings that silverware-winning pedigree to LAFC.

Here’s more news for your Thursday morning:

  • Kobe at The Banc: Kobe Bryant was at The Banc on Wednesday morning, as Bodyarmor was announced as the official sports drink of MLS and LAFC. I was on hand as Bryant and several players from around MLS took part in a skills showcase with some lucky members of LAFC’s academy.
  • Kobe’s MLS team? One of the hot questions for Bryant was which Los Angeles MLS team was his. His answer? “Really? Ask me something better.” So I guess that remains a mystery, he may or may not be spotted at games at The Banc like other Laker legends Magic Johnson and Pat Riley, we’ll see.
  • Cifuentes player comp: For those wondering about another new LAFC signing, midfielder Jose Cifuentes, that goal from the U-20 World Cup may be a tad misleading in terms of his attacking chops. MLSsoccer.com talks to an Ecuadorian expert about Cifuentes’ game, and he compares the youngster to Yaya Toure and Michael Essien. That’s not bad!
  • CBA update: While in Los Angeles yesterday I also talked to Philadelphia Union veteran Alejandro Bedoya, who offered some insight in the MLS CBA negotiations from the MLS players’ side.
  • Podcast alert: Inside LAFC is back for 2020, and the team’s official podcast this week included an interview with Adama Diomande. You may or may not know Dio is a very private person, someone who seemed sheepish to discuss riding horses in Hawaii, but some precious info on the striker, from the man himself.

Today’s question: The goalkeeper situation appears to be wrapped up, at least at the top, for LAFC for 2020. What’s the next most pressing concern for the club at this point in the preseason? The first competitive game is just over a month away! Let us know what you think in the comments.