- Joined: Jul 30, 2021
- Last Login: Sep 8, 2021, 2:30pm EDT
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All of you have good points, but...
…personally, this type of heavy-turnover club may not be for me. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become less enamored with the laundry (badge/crest). I don’t necessarily root for LAFC per se, but for Vela, Cifuentes, Kim, Romero, etc. I want them to return because I enjoy the fun/agony of following players year after year, empathizing together through the losses and feeling their joys vicariously when they win.
I expect occasional turnover when it becomes necessary, as long as we retain a strong core. The Dodgers are kind of like that: keeping Bellinger, Seager, JT, CT, Kershaw, et al, year after year, but having other players come and go. I feel a strong connection to that team even if we "rent" occasional players like Darvish, Machado, Mad Max, Trea, etc. But LAFC seems to be in a continuous state of revision/turnover. Borrowing from Mark Twain’s quote about weather in New England: "If you don’t like the players on LAFC now, wait a few minutes." It’s hard to be invested in the team when the team keeps making wholesale changes. (Yes, I realize I got spoiled. We kept Rossi and Atuesta longer than was planned (either because of COVID’s effect on the market or LAFC’s overestimation of their potential worth).)
Evidently, I’m in the minority. I suppose people are mostly about the laundry and don’t care as much who’s wearing it, as long as they produce results. But consider this (silly) scenario: Let’s say we suddenly trade 10 key players with Seattle, and we go on to win MLS Cup. Would it be LAFC that won the Cup or Seattle? Would you feel as much satisfaction? Would you feel the same way about the players hoisting the trophy or feel kinda like "your" team is up there in Washington? I know this is a great exaggeration: we aren’t having that amount of turnover! But for me, it’s like the ship of Theseus. The more we keep replacing players with other players, the less it feels like the same LAFC team. I often think, "Wait…who ARE we?" It makes me care less about the team. And it makes me sad, because I want to love it.
Anyhow, I haven’t quite given up. Perhaps they’ll do a rebuild this winter, figuring out a way to create a team whose identity is based on a strong contingent of "permanent" players, but have a couple of players that pass through to add a little flavor. Other teams are like that – many of their best players are around year after year. But right now it seems that our model is (1) everyone is replaceable in a heartbeat (except Vela), and (2) our core identity and branding is based on players who’ll be here for a year or two and then sold to Europe. Again, maybe not for me.
Comment 1 reply
From the onset, LAFC has claimed that they aspired to be a Great Club, counted among the elite in world football. Who are they kidding? We’re a selling club. The club model is to buy a player and try to turn a profit with a quick turnaround sale. That was the intention with Rossi, Rodriguez, Horta, Moutinho, and is probably the intention with Cifuentes, Palacios, and Ginella. There was no plan to keep Rossi and Atuesta for more than a year or two, then make some $$ off them. But COVID hit and the plans were delayed.
What is laughable is that the Front Office thinks that LAFC will gain prestige, acclaim, and respect from the footballing world by making these sales to European clubs. They think that LAFC will be known as a club that develops players. BS. LAFC buys players that already have been trained and already have established talent. Then LAFC tries to take credit for those players’ abilities. Our academy didn’t produce them. We are just player brokers: we buy a talented player, showcase them in our games, then sell them for a profit (usually with a payoff to the original club). LAFC, you’re no Southampton**. Stop pretending like you can spot and develop talent.
I’m about to give up on LAFC. I HATE clubs that have no continuity of players, because I like the players not just the badge. I’m old enough to remember the Dodgers when they had the same squad year after year (Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey, Dusty, Yeager, etc.). Or the Lakers of the 80s. Even the Galaxy in the Donovan years (yes, I was a Galaxy fan before LAFC came into being). Now I don’t give a **** about the Lakers, because they just replace the squad each year. Don’t fall in love with an LAFC player: he’ll be gone before you know it. We’re "Rent-a-Player FC."
Don’t you think it is odd that no one wants to play for LAFC, despite being able to live in beautiful LA? When they are transferred to us, I always hear that they come unwillingly, and they want out immediately. They realize the club isn’t interested in trophies. Instead, the club sees the players as commodities to be used and sold. I think Vela doesn’t like what he sees going on, which is why he has kinda checked out of the season and is looking towards Europe next year.
I have been vocal in my criticism of Bradley, but now maybe I feel badly for him. What can he do with management who has no interest in retaining talented players so that continuity and chemistry can be established? "Sorry, Bob. I know Rossi would help us win some games. However, just think of the press our brand name will get from the sale. ‘LAFC’ will be in the news. That’s good for our global image and branding. F*** results and trophies, Bobby."
So there you go, Bob. I promise not to say anything bad about you the rest of the year. Good luck with what you got. Maybe you will get tired of Larry Berg, Peter Guber, John Thorrington, et al, and give them the finger goodbye. I wouldn’t blame you.
(**P.S. I’m not criticizing clubs like Southampton. They know who they are. They don’t have the money to compete with the rich clubs, so they do what they do best: develop talent in order to survive, giving their supporters some thrills along the way. Go Saints!)
The silver lining
I don’t want to hope for losses, but the only way we’ll see a change is by hitting rock bottom. We’re about there. Not making the playoffs is very realistic. But I’m sure Thoringgton will hold Bradley blameless and use players as scapegoats. Yes I’m afraid he’ll be back next year.