It’s that time of year again! We’re going through each team in the Western Conference to see how they ended last year, how things have gone in the offseason, and what we might expect from them in 2020. They will be published in no particular order, and you can find all of them here.
2019 Record: 21-9-4 (72 points, Supporters’ Shield winners)
Goals For: 85 (1st in WC)
Goals Against: 37 (lowest in WC)
Three Key Additions:
Kenneth Vermeer, Francisco Ginella, Jose Cifuentes
Three Key Subtractions:
Tyler Miller, Lee Nguyen, Steven Beitashour
After its historic 2019, Los Angeles Football Club will be looking for an MLS Cup Final after being eliminated in the playoffs both years. The Seattle Sounders eliminated the team in the Western Conference Finals last season. something Rapids fans know all about, but the club did nothing but improve its roster this offseason and threaten to be even stronger going into 2020.
LAFC broke multiple records during the 2019 season, from most points in a season to highest goalscorer in a single season (Carlos Vela with 34). LAFC bolstered its strong roster this offseason by adding two young South American midfielders, Uruguay’s U-20 Francisco Ginella and Ecuador’s U-20 Jose Cifuentes, as well as veteran Dutch ‘keeper Kenneth Vermeer. Ginella and Cifuentes will add depth to an already strong midfield, while Vermeer will shore up the main issue for LAFC last year: goalkeeping.
The club lost veteran Lee Nguyen to Inter Miami in the expansion draft and decided against extending Beitashour’s contract. Tyler Miller was traded to Minnesota to make way for Vermeer as the club’s starting goalkeeper.
Going into 2020, LAFC has done nothing but improve, and if young talent—such as Eduard Atuesta, Brian Rodriguez, and Diego Rossi—continue to develop, this team stands a very good chance of being even better than last season. The main standout issue for LAFC last season was goalkeeping, but the addition of Vermeer addresses this issue, while Cifuentes, Ginella, and Ecuador wingback Diego Palacios (signed in the summer) only promise to improve the depth and core of this team.
LAFC has improved its squad and seems almost guaranteed a second Supporters’ Shield, but surely hopes to fair better in the playoffs and win the MLS Cup in 2020.