Los Angeles Football Club revealed their final 25-man roster for the Concacaf Champions League next week, and among the absences is one surprise of sorts.
Forward Bradley Wright-Phillips is not on the roster, meaning he will not be available to play for LAFC against Cruz Azul next Wednesday in the CCL quarterfinal. Wright-Phillips’ contract option for 2021 was declined last week, and players in that position were given the option to play on or not in CCL, and it appears Wright-Phillips declined the call-up, because one imagines LAFC would have brought him along if he was willing.
Given the uncertainty about his future, and perhaps LAFC declining his option a clear signal the club doesn’t want to bring him back next year, then it’s not altogether a shock he wouldn’t want to play with LAFC in context. Add to that, with MLS Free Agency coming up, he may be interested in working on that, or going through his options, rather than finish his tenure with LAFC.
Still, this does seem to indicate BWP, the MLS Comeback Player of the Year, does not appear like he will be returning to LAFC next year. It’s no guarantee either way, but had he continued on and been in the CCL squad, then perhaps he would have re-signed with LAFC at a different price next year. Now, that seems much less likely.
Otherwise, the 25-man roster is pretty much what you would expect. Andy Najar is a player in a similar spot to BWP whose contract option was declined and is not on the CCL squad, but his injury issues this year made it pretty likely he was not returning next year anyway, and if he’s not fit, he is unlikely to play a role in the CCL.
In contrast, Jesús David Murillo is on the roster, and will likely play against Cruz Azul. His loan deal ends at the end of the year, and there is a good chance LAFC will bring him back next year.
Here’s the 25-man roster:
Goalkeepers (3): Pablo Sisniega, Kenneth Vermeer, Phillip Ejimadu
Defenders (10): Tristan Blackmon, Erik Dueñas, Tony Leone, Diego Palacios, Eddie Segura, Mohamed Traore, Mohamed El-Munir, Jesus Murillo, Dejan Jaković, Jordan Harvey
Midfielders (6): Eduard Atuesta, Latif Blessing, José Cifuentes, Bryce Duke, Francisco Ginella, Mark-Anthony Kaye
Forwards (6): Danny Musovski, Kwadwo Opoku, Brian Rodríguez, Diego Rossi, Christian Torres, Carlos Vela
We’ll have more coverage setting up for the CCL in the coming days. For now, what do you think? Leave a comment below.