Los Angeles Football Club announced the hiring of Will Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Soccer Operations.
Kuntz will report to General Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations John Thorrington .
Kuntz was the Director of Players Relations for Major League Soccer and before that he worked 10 years in the New York Yankees organization.
“I’m excited to work with John and the entire LAFC team to build a team that will represent our city, our league and our sport,” Kuntz said. “We are already working hard to be able to field a team that will excite our fans and bring another champion to the city of Los Angeles.”
In his new role, Kuntz will work closely with the team’s executives to bring exciting and promising coaches and players to LAFC that will bring quality to the pitch and represent the community and the club’s growing fan base.
LAFC will join Major League Soccer for the 2018 season and play at the Banc of California Stadium.
The club recently partnered with The Orange County Soccer Club in USL to expand player development.
Last month, the demolition of the Sports Arena was completed and the construction of LAFC’s new Banc of California Stadium began. The stadium is a 22,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium which will bring more than $350 million in private investment to South Los Angeles.
“We went through an exhaustive search over the last couple of months to identify a head coach who not only could succeed in the USL, but also understands the importance of developing talented professional soccer players within Orange County and for our partner club LAFC,” GM Oliver Wyss said. “We feel that Logan is the prototype of what we were looking for based on his experience, passion, work ethic and commitment to the community.”
The Blues have struggled for market visibility since the club began playing in 2011, are now under new ownership and are affiliated with MLS expansion club LAFC.
The Blues attracted just over 1,000 fans a game last season in Irvine, one of the lowest home averages in the USL.
Los Angeles Football Club and the USL’s Orange County Blues FC announced a new partnership that will expand player development and create a loan system between the two franchises.
LAFC is set to join MLS in 2018.
“We are incredibly excited about this partnership, which will contribute significantly towards our goals of building a competitive roster in 2018 and growing the game here in Southern California,” LAFC Executive VP of Soccer Operations John Thorrington. “In the OC Blues, we have a fantastic partner with an owner and staff who closely align with our vision to bring world-class professional soccer to Southern California.”
The deal will provide LAFC the ability to loan players to the Blues as soon as the 2017 season.
“We are thrilled to launch this exciting new era in Orange County soccer with our LAFC affiliation,” Orange County GM and Executive VP of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss. “This partnership will significantly enhance the quality of our first team and strengthen the bonds between the two clubs. Together we will expand opportunities for coaching education and focus on all aspects of player development.”
The stadium will be built on the site of the L.A. Sports Arena, which is soon to be demolished.
Scheduled to be in attendance are LAFC’s owners Magic Johnson, Will Farrell, Tony Robbins, Peter Gruber and Tom Penn, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Curren Price, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Congresswoman Karen Bass and MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
City council member Curren Price, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Will Ferrell, Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm. (Photo Thuc Nhi Nguyen/LA Daily News)
LAFC announced its crest and colors yesterday in a carefully scripted press conference that also included two new owners in actor Will Ferrell and video game mogul Brandon Beck. It was quite the affair: There were streamers, chants and a Lakers drum.
Next, there will a stadium, an academy and eventually a team for LAFC. U.S. Soccer great and LAFC co-owner Mia Hamm hopes the club will also bring a women’s team to Los Angeles.
John Thorrington (center) answers questions at his introductory press conference on Tuesday. He was named LAFC’s Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations. Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star News
In its first hire on the technical side, LAFC named John Thorrington to Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations on Tuesday.
In his new position, Thorrington, 36, will oversee player and personnel decisions leading up to LAFC’s inaugural season in 2018.
“The teams that fans most readily and most passionately identify with are those that represent what is great about their city,” Thorrington said at Tuesday’s press conference at Exposition Park near the proposed site of the team’s stadium. “And that is exactly the type of team I intend to build — a team that will excite our fans, make our fans proud and deliver a championship-caliber team to those fans.”
The California Science Center and Exposition Park Commission approved revised stadium plans today for the proposed LAFC stadium at Exposition Park.
The stadium plans will next head to the Los Angeles Planning Commission in December 2015 and then go before the City Council.
From the LAFC press release:
This new home for the team would be the first open air stadium in LA since 1962. The project is expected to bring $250 million in private investments to South Los Angeles. Total economic impact over 30 years is projected to be nearly $3 billion and the stadium and soccer club will create 3,000 full time jobs. Many of those jobs will be created in one of the most disadvantaged parts of Los Angeles. There are also plans for job training, youth and educational outreach and a Los Angeles Football Club Foundation that will be active in the community.
Part owner Mia Hamm Garciaparra gushed:
“This site, with its history of sports, is the perfect location to bring the world’s game to the world’s city,” she said. “It’s truly in the center of this city, part of the LA sports corridor, is among some of the best institutions and museums, and in a beautiful Park.”