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Los Angeles FC 2024 MLS season preview

We’re taking you through LAFC's offseason action, hopes, fears, tactics & much more.

6 min read

Where we left off last year

2023 season: 52 points, 3rd in the Western Conference

LAFC’s 2023 ended as the Columbus Crew’s trophy celebrations began. A 2-1 loss in MLS Cup signaled the start of a re-tooling process after a year full of ‘almosts’ for the Black & Gold. Despite never signing a third DP last season, LAFC reached the final of the Concacaf Champions League (now Cup) and MLS Cup during their MLS-record 53 game schedule across all competitions. Perhaps as a result of never filling out the top of their roster, they lost both of those finals.

Still, LAFC maintained their status as one of the top teams in the West. Star left winger Denis Bouanga collected the 2023 MLS Golden Boot, scoring goals on the back of his dominant right foot and clever off-ball movement.

Even with Bouanga establishing himself as a superstar, though, it’s hard to shake the feeling that LAFC left something on the table last year. 

What changed in the offseason

Notable arrivals:

  • Eduard Atuesta, DM: Atuesta is back, folks. The Colombian was excellent at the base of LAFC’s midfield before moving to Palmeiras in Brazil’s top-flight. The 26-year-old struggled for minutes with Palmeiras, but thrived as a single-pivot and ball progressor under Bob Bradley. He’ll ease the minutes burden on Ilie Sanchez at the base of midfield and will see some time as a No. 8, too.
  • David Martinez, AM:  The 18-year-old left-footed attacker is one of the top young Venezuelan players in the world right now. Martinez has great technique on the ball, a smooth first touch, and solid athleticism. He’s still missing professional experience, but his development is absolutely worth watching.
  • Tomas Angel, FW: A versatile, left-footed forward capable of playing on the wing or through the middle, the 20-year-old is a worthwhile (and low-cost) investment for LAFC. The Colombian youth international arrives on a free transfer and won’t take up a U-22 initiative roster slot.
  • Omar Campos, LB:  Campos isn’t the flashiest fullback, but neither was Diego Palacios when he arrived in Los Angeles. The 21-year-old has three seasons of regular Liga MX minutes under his belt with Santos Laguna and shouldn’t have any trouble adapting to MLS. 
  • Hugo Lloris, GK: LAFC are hoping to pull a St. Louis City with this move by snagging an aging European goalkeeper in need of a resurgence. It worked for Roman Burki during St. Louis’ expansion season, that’s for sure. Lloris had been noticeably poor in the Premier League during his last two years with Tottenham, but was sharp in European competitions and is reportedly on a very modest salary. At 37, Lloris should still have a couple of good seasons left.

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