LAFC today announced their initial roster decisions for the upcoming 2023 season. The defending MLS Champs — my gosh that sounds incredibly sexy — did have a couple of eyebrow raisers, but nothing too surprising for a side looking to keep most of the championship winning side together.
The defending MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield Champions have exercised contract options on midfielders Kellyn Acosta and Latif Blessing, goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau and defenders Mamadou Fall (on loan to Villareal CF - Spain)
The club declined the contract options on forwards Cal Jennings, Danny Trejo and goalkeeper Tomas Romero. Jennings, Romero and Trejo will be eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft Process.
LAFC also declined the contract option for Christian Tello, but the team expects to renegotiate his contract with the club. The team is also currently in negotiations to retain Ryan Hollingshead, Sebastien Ibeagha, Franco Escobar and Sebastian Mendez, as well as defender Eddie Segura. These players are set to be free agents.
The 22 players currently under contract for the 2023 season are: goalkeepers Maxime Crepeau, John McCarthy; defenders Giorgio Chiellini, Erick Duenas, Mamadou Fall [Loan], Julian Gaines, Tony Leone, Jesus Murillo, Diego Palacios, Mohamed Traore; midfielders Kellyn Acosta, Jose Cifuentes, Latif Blessing, Francisco Ginella [Loan], Ilie Sanchez, and forwards Cristian Arango, Gareth Bale, Denis Bouanga, Mahala Opoku, Nathan Ordaz, Christian Torres, Carlos Vela.
As defending Supporters’ Shield winners and MLS Cup Champions, you'd assume not many moves need to be made this offseason. However, this team has made no secret about wanting more. Champions League level more. This is also a team that brought in Gareth Bale, and Giorgio Chiellini while coasting atop the league all season, so don't expect the black-and-gold to sit back and relax.
What do you think about the initial roster? Leave a comment below!