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LAFC announce roster decisions ahead of 2021 season

Bradley Wright-Phillips may be gone, but maybe not.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Football Club announced Tuesday their roster decisions for the offseason, to kick off preparations for the 2021 season.

LAFC have exercised contract options on Carlos Vela, Pablo Sisniega and Danny Musovski.

Meanwhile, they have declined contract options on Bradley Wright-Phillips, Andy Najar, Phillip Ejimadu, Adrien Perez and Jesús David Murillo.

Wright-Phillips, Jordan Harvey and Dejan Jaković are all eligible for MLS Free Agency, the latter two out of contract. Mohamed El-Munir is also out of contract and will, in addition to Ejimadu, Murillo, Najar and Perez, be eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft. Mark Segbers’ loan will end at the end of the year.

In addition to the players whose contract options were picked up, LAFC will have 17 players under contract for next season as of when they dropped the release: Kenneth Vermeer, Tristan Blackmon, Erik Dueñas, Tony Leone, Diego Palacios, Eddie Segura, Mohamed Traore, Eduard Atuesta, Latif Blessing, José Cifuentes, Bryce Duke, Francisco Ginella, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Kwadwo Opoku, Brian Rodriguez, Diego Rossi, and Christian Torres.

Now, lest you freak out about the departures of BWP, or Murillo or any other player, the club included the following note: “Conversations regarding the return of certain players are ongoing, including the purchase option for Jesús Murillo.”

To me, Murillo being specifically named is significant, in assuming Independiente won’t hold him for ransom he will be brought back, and I think there’s a good chance some of the others will also be back. MLS teams can sign two free agents a season, which means there’s no guarantee any of Wright-Phillips, Harvey or Jaković will be back, but two of them could. Likewise, the players eligible for the Re-Entry Draft could also be brought back, there’s a process to bring back players.

One player on the 2020 roster, Alejandro Guido, was not listed at all, and that seems to be the final (lack of) word on his tenure at the club, with all signs pointing to him being gone and not in the club’s plans at all.

Finally, LAFC actually have at least one more competitive game this year, Dec. 16 against Cruz Azul in Concacaf Champions League play, with one or two more beyond if they win. The club says all players on the roster at present will be eligible to play in CCL, so even if they are listed as out of contract or free agents or whatever, they will be available to play in the final game(s) of the 2020 season.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.