Three’s Company: Three Players LAFC Should Target With Their Open DP Slot

Eli Lesser

@thisweekinmls

LOS ANGELES — LAFC have officially sold Portuguese Midfielder André Horta back to Portuguese side Braga for roughly $2.75m and will acquire 50% of any future transfer fee, should Braga sell Horta again. Horta, 22, showed potential heading into his time in LA, as he had previously been named “Player of the Month” in the Portuguese league. But, Horta never settled fully into LA or the MLS playing style. Horta took up one of LA’s three designated player (DP) spots, which are three roster spots reserved for big-name signings. Now, with LAFC free to sign a third DP, the club is in a fantastic position to land a star during the summer transfer window. Here are three players LAFC should target:

JAVIER HERNÁNDEZ:

This would be a match made in heaven. Despite Horta being a Midfielder, the club really does not need a replacement Midfielder, but they could use a consistent number nine. At the Striker position, LA’s primary starter is Christian Ramirez, a U.S. International, who shows flashes of greatness but who can also disappear during matches. On the other hand, Mexican International Superstar Striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernández is a prolific goal scorer who has long been linked heavily with a move to MLS. Chicharito, 31, has one more year remaining on his contract with English side West Ham United, where he has scored 15 goals in 53 appearances. But, if LAFC are willing to throw eight figures at West Ham for Chicharito, they could possibly land him this summer. Pairing Chicharito with fellow Mexican Superstar Carlos Vela would likely bring a level of dominance yet to be experienced in MLS’ 24 seasons.

HÉCTOR MORENO

Continuing the theme of Mexican International stars, a name LAFC should consider is Real Sociedad Center Back Héctor Moreno. LAFC does not necessarily need a Center Back as they sit currently 2nd in the league in the fewest amount of goals conceded (13), but you can never have too good of a backline in MLS. Always, there is room for improvement. Moreno, 31, has been linked with a move to Inter Miami. So, the defender clearly shows interest in coming to the states. Why not come to LA, Héctor? This city provides an attractive option to any athlete, in any sport, but particularly now, given how dominant LAFC is in MLS. Adding Moreno to a backline of Walker Zimmerman, Eddie Segura, Steven Beitashour and Jordan Harvey would not just improve an already talented crop of Defenders, but would add lineup flexibility for Head Coach Bob Bradley, who would be able to either rotate his options at the back or test out new formations.

FABIAN JOHNSON:

Fabian Johnson, a former USMNT starter, might not be the name LAFC fans would expect to see on this list, but he belongs on it. The 31-year-old currently plays for Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach, where he has primarily come off the bench as a dangerous situational player, usually as a winger. On the USMNT, Johnson was Jurgen Klinsmann’s top choice at the Left Back position. LAFC could use a versatile player like Johnson who can fill any role Bob Bradley needs, whether as an attacker or defender. Johnson, who rejected an offer this past winter from FC Cincinnati, has not shut down the possibility of playing in America. As Johnson’s role continues to decrease in Germany, it might be time for him to make the move back home. Johnson still has a few good years left in his legs and can be an asset to any MLS team. LAFC,  an organization already run to perfection, could see the value in Johnson and present an appealing opportunity and lure him to MLS.

LAFC fans have high hopes for the use of the third DP signing. Perhaps they should not focus on it too strongly. LAFC are off to a historic start this season, and, quite frankly, are expected to have a quiet summer transfer window. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?

Photo Credit: us.as.com