Gone is the shiny polish, the gold is starting to fade and the black in the jerseys are turning grey. The first season is in the books and I think everyone is pleased with the way the year went. The team finished in a playoff spot and was one of the better teams in the west last year. With players like Carolos Vella and Diego Rossi leading the attack LAFC were the new toy the people of LA were longing for. This team was full of fire power and goals with 14 from Vella and 12 from both Diego Rossi and Adama Diomande.
With a new team entering the league in Cincy and the darlings in the ATL plus Zlatan, what will LAFC do? The same thing they did last year. Bob Bradley said to not expect change in 2019 and he is ready for the team to play “good Football.” Thanks to some great reporting by the Angles on Parade for giving us access to that interview.
Tactics & Key Players
Being that Bob said not much is going to change, we should expect similar formations. The thing is that Bradley is notorious for changing the formation per the opponent. Generally, the team rolled out in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. LAFC has an abundance of attacking power, full of wingers and attacking midfielders. Lacking true D mid and loosing Benny Feilhaber is going to make LA’s reliance on wingers more apperant.
Defenders: The defense is going to look a little different this season, Cimon is gone, and Walker Zimmerman is going to need to step up even more. The talent around him isn’t amazing, they picked up Mohamed El-Munir from Orlando and have young kids Tristan Blackmon and Eddie Segura. Rounding our the defense are veterans like Jordan Harvey, Danilo Silva, Steven Beitashour, and Dejan Jakovic. My guess is that Jakovic will be starting next to Zimmerman with some combination of Silva and Beitashour to start the season.
Midfielders: Well there is a real lack of a defensive midfielder, but Bob said that Eduard Atuesta will be the man, the young Colombian will probably have the starting roll. The team spent good money on Andre Horta and the final spots will be filled by Mark-Anthony Kaye and Lee Nguyen.
Forwards: This is the position of most wealth; the team is stacked! Honestly there will be times when they will probably drop someone back into the midfield which LA did a few times last season with Latif Blessing. The starters will probably be Diego Rossi, Carlos Vela, and Adama Diomande. The three, last season, had 38 goals between them. LAFC also haves Josh Perez and the coolest name in sports Shaft Brewer Jr. Christian Ramirez is the super sub of all subs. To start the year, he will be coming off the bench, but if Diomande slips expect Ramirez to slot in perfectly.
This is the first full season in the Banc plus Benny is gone to Colorado and Ciman is out. Other than that, you can expect similar things for the only team in LA.
Okay, LAFC has one thing for me and only one thing, attacking pieces. I think Carlos Vella is going to be priced too high starting the year and will come at a premium; well-deserved man had 14 goals and 13 assists. Diego Rossi should have another good year and either Diomande or Ramirez will fill that last forward roll. I don’t trust the defense or midfield enough now. I think Benny Feilhaber and Laurent Cimon meant a ton for the team defensively and they added a sense of security. Kaye had good moments and Zimmerman is the truth, but uncertain I am. I expect Rossi to kill it, Vella is a pro and Ramirez is looking to reestablish himself in the world of the USMNT.