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Sebas Méndez leaves LAFC for São Paulo FC

Midfielder’s stay with black-and-gold is short.

MLS: Leagues Cup Showcase-America vs Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Brazilian outfit São Paulo FC announced on Monday the signing of midfielder Sebas Méndez on a free, for three years.

The news means, of course, that Méndez will not be returning to LAFC in 2023.

The Ecuadorian was a free agent after the 2022 season. After joining LAFC in a trade from Orlando City in July, Mendez made 11 appearances for the black-and-gold, 10 off the bench, as a depth midfielder. He helped LAFC win the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup, and that, coupled with his action with Ecuador at the recent World Cup, meant there was a global market for the player.

While LAFC initially said they were in discussions to bring Méndez back, there was actually considerable incentive to let him walk. If Méndez re-signed with LAFC this year, then LAFC would have to owe Orlando City $225,000 in Allocation Money in 2023 and $225,000 in 2024. Since he did not, LAFC won’t owe all that money to Orlando City. Given the budget crunch LAFC will be under this year with all the bonuses they had to pay out, all things considered, renting Méndez for half a season and then seeing him sign elsewhere for free is actually good business for them.

Still, best wishes to Sebas in Brazil, and thanks for the contributions in the double-winning season.

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