ESPN+ and Major League Soccer Present Groundbreaking Sports Reality Series WE ARE LAFC
February 25, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release
NEW YORK - ESPN+ and Major League Soccer today released WE ARE LAFC, a 10-part all-access documentary series that brings fans into the heart of one of the most highly anticipated soccer projects ever - the creation of the Los Angeles Football Club. Offering unprecedented behind-the-scenes access, the show chronicles the birth of the club, its historic debut season in MLS, and its run to the MLS Cup Playoffs.
WE ARE LAFC is available exclusively on ESPN+. A Spanish-language version - SOMOS LAFC - is also available. The series was co-produced by Mandalay Sports Media, with Jon Weinbach and Mike Tollin executive producing.
"Original content on ESPN+ aims to bring fans distinctive insights and get them closer to teams and athletes, including through exclusive, behind-the-scenes access," said Russell Wolff, Executive Vice President & General Manager, ESPN+. "WE ARE LAFC is the latest example of the kind of all-access, authentic storytelling ESPN+ delivers, and LAFC and MLS have been great collaborators on the project."
From the opening scenes, the series provides an intimate look into the hearts and minds of LAFC's players, coaches and team executives - from the board room to the locker room, from tactical meetings to closed training sessions, from the pressure of matchday to the release of life off the field.
"WE ARE LAFC is a reflection of Major League Soccer's multi-platform partnership with ESPN, as well as the league's commitment to showcasing compelling stories and delivering great content to our fans wherever, whenever and however they want. ESPN+ is the perfect platform for achieving that goal," said Seth Bacon, MLS Senior Vice President of Media. "This project was a true collaboration between ESPN, LAFC, Mandalay Sports Media and Major League Soccer. We are all proud of the series and we know it will resonate with a wide audience."
LAFC personalities include Head Coach Bob Bradley, who is mic'd up during practices and matches, in meetings, and in the locker-room addressing the team; EVP of Soccer Operations & General Manager John Thorrington, the architect of the team's diverse and talented roster; LAFC captain and Mexican National Team star Carlos Vela; and members of the club's high-powered 31-person ownership group, including, Lead Managing Owner Larry Berg, Hollywood producer Peter Guber, and actor/comedian Will Ferrell among others.
"We faced a unique challenge to create absolutely everything from scratch," said LAFC President and Co-Owner Tom Penn. "So we engaged our most passionate fans and supporters and involved them in each step of the journey. ESPN+ and Mandalay Sports Media did a terrific job of telling the story of our historic beginning."
The 10 episodes highlight the following LAFC moments:
BIRTH OF A CLUB: An all-star ownership group launches the club, while former U.S. National Team coach Bob Bradley molds a roster that features star forward Carlos Vela.
EL TRÁFICO: LAFC makes an immediate impact on MLS and journeys 12 miles south for the club's memorable first game against crosstown rival LA Galaxy.
HOME AT LAST: LAFC opens its state-of-the-art new home as owner Will Ferrell launches a falcon during pregame and Bob Bradley's team goes down to the wire against Seattle.
NEW BLOOD: With Vela and others away for the World Cup, LAFC's General Manager John Thorrington and Coach Bob Bradley integrate two important new players into the club.
El TRÁFICO II: The second installment of "El Tráfico" builds to a dramatic - and heartbreaking - climax.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: LAFC captain Laurent Ciman makes an unexpected exit, and Vela steps in to fill a leadership void. The club heads to Canada, where Bob Bradley must game plan against his son, Toronto FC star Michael Bradley.
SUCCESS AND STRUGGLE: LAFC's practice makes perfect with goals against San Jose. But in Chicago, a poor performance causes strong reaction from Bradley.
CLINCHED: The club regroups for a clutch performance in Colorado, and with a playoff berth clinched, the boys play a prank on one of the club's veterans.
IF NOT FIRST, THIRD: With a Western Conference title - and an all-important playoff bye - at stake, LAFC hits the road for a massive "Decision Day" game in Kansas City.
THE WORK NEVER ENDS: LAFC's inaugural playoff run does not go as expected in a bizarre game against Real Salt Lake. Undaunted, Bradley preps for 2019.WE ARE LAFC joins a lineup of critically acclaimed ESPN+ original series that includes More Than An Athlete on LeBron James; Detail with Peyton Manning (football) and Detail with Kobe Bryant (basketball); Earn Everything, which followed Duke University men's basketball; and The Boardroom (co-produced with Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Media).
LAFC opens regular season play on Sunday, March 3 against Sporting Kansas City at 5:00 p.m. PT on ESPN.
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