Here are the ten things we learned from Week 12 of the 2017 MLS season.
1. LAFC Makes A Splash
Los Angeles Football Club doesn’t have a coach, doesn’t have senior players, and doesn’t kick off their first MLS season for another nine months. But it’s becoming clear that LAFC could be one of MLS’ banner franchises as soon as next year.
At a fan rally on Saturday, LAFC announced that it will have a safe-standing supporters’ section, a la Orlando City’s, in its Banc of California Stadium’s North End.
In turn, six LAFC supporters’ groups announced that they have joined to form The 3252 supporters’ union and will stand together in the supporters’ section during matches. The section will have 3,252 seats, priced at $20 per game.
LA – obviously – isn’t known as a rabid sports town. But neither was Atlanta before this year. With a stadium much more centrally located than the LA Galaxy’s Carson-based StubHub Center, the early returns for interest in LAFC have been phenomenal.
The club has sold out its most expensive premium season tickets and, as of February, had 14,000 season ticket deposits. The Galaxy only have around 11,000 season ticket holders, and LAFC’s stadium, set to open next year, is only going to seat 22,000.
When LAFC start bringing in players – Chicharito has been rumored – and a coach, who could be Bob Bradley or Guillermo Barros Schelloto, interest will continue to heat up. This could be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in LA sports.
2. New York City Finally Get Past Orlando
Although they haven’t been the better team during their time in MLS, Orlando City has had New York City FC’s number over the last three seasons.
Orlando had already beaten NYCFC twice this year – once in Florida and once at Yankee Stadium – heading into Sunday night’s showdown at the new Orlando City Stadium where the home team was undefeated.
But this game was all NYCFC. Patrick Vieira’s team took the lead on an early David Villa penalty, doubled their lead before halftime on a lovely team goal scored by Rodney Wallace, got another goal from Villa, and ran out 3-0 winners.
It was an impressive showing from an NYC team playing its third game in eight days. Orlando, meanwhile, is winless in five and has to be slightly worried about its big players.