Bayern Munich and LAFC announce player development partnership

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich and MLS Cup champions Los Angeles FC will form a joint venture to boost their respective player development efforts, the clubs announced on Monday.

The company, which the two organizations refer to as a “global football development cooperation”, will be called “Red&Gold Football” and will be based in Munich, Germany. Each club will own 50% of the company’s shares.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (US)

“A partnership of this magnitude is the next step in our evolution as a club,” LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington said in a statement. “We are extremely excited to be working with FC Bayern to identify and develop young talent in Southern California and beyond, and believe this relationship will provide players across all of our systems with an opportunity to maximize their potential and a clear path forward.” to watch first-team football.”

Bayern boss and CEO Oliver Kahn adds: “Football is developing rapidly internationally, which is also reflected in the transfer market. We see this partnership as an opportunity to strengthen FC Bayern in the sporting competition.” best clubs in Europe and the Bundesliga.

“The fact that most of the 2026 World Cup will take place in the USA, where we already have an office in New York, makes Los Angeles even more attractive. I anticipate a surge in quality and youth development in Major League Soccer that will have a positive impact on our partnership.”

Thorrington said in an exclusive interview with ESPN that there will be an exchange of best practices regarding player development and coaching. However, he added that the main objective of the partnership is “vertical integration” with the global transfer market. LAFC are also hoping to capitalize on Bayern’s extensive scouting network.

“The transfer market is a big part of our business and I think Bayern Munich see great potential in MLS and LAFC and that pipeline of talent,” Thorrington said. “I think it allows us to pursue a more mature player, but if you trace that back down to our academy it widens our funnel a lot and then also gives us a lot more opportunities to place players globally.”

This could potentially lead to players moving to Munich from the LAFC academy, as well as Bayern players who aren’t quite ready for their first team to play at the Los Angeles club.

Thorrington said: “Now it’s a lot more realistic for an academy kid to think he can be the next Alphonso Davies, as a young player growing up through our academy in LA, playing in the Champions League for Bayern Munich, we have a vision and path for such a thing Child. We hope to make this a well-trodden path.”

He said both clubs expect to collaborate with other football clubs and development academies around the world as part of a global development initiative.

When asked if this is a way to follow a similar path to organizations like City Football Group – which is led by Premier League club Manchester City but includes numerous clubs including La Liga club Girona FC and the MLS club New York City FC – – Thorrington said: “I think that’s fair to say.”

He added: “It’s different in that it’s a joint venture. It is not a share of equity or a purchase. Neither club is bought by the other. But it’s our way of achieving some of the advantages that these other clubs have that we don’t have when we’re working independently.

“We think it’s the right balance of working together and of course we’re very focused on what LAFC offers to our support group here in LA and our players and everything. It’s very LA based. But I think to maximize what we can do here in LA, being part of the global ecosystem in that way will make LAFC do better.”

Bayern had a previous relationship with FC Dallas dating back to 2018, alongside opening an international office in New York in 2014.

Hasan Salihamidzic, FC Bayern Chief Sports Officer, said: “Working with Los Angeles Football Club gives us the chance to develop talent internationally within our own system. Our campus will also benefit from this, as it will continue to be the heart of FC Bayern’s youth development programme.

“In the future, we can offer our young players a career path that is even more tailored to them and thus a better start in our professional teams and in professional football. That makes FC Bayern more attractive as a youth club.”

Thorrington said it was Bayern who first approached LAFC ownership about the joint venture and that talks were more advanced in March 2022 when he and LAFC CBO Larry Freedman became involved.

He said: “Of course there will be a lot of overlap but this joint venture will be funded by both and uniquely staffed to work in the link between the clubs and in this global network for the benefit of both clubs.” Bayern Munich and LAFC announce player development partnership

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