Defenders of the Banc - An LAFC Podcast

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Christian "Filly" Filimon and "The Scarf" J.R. Lebert talk all things LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club), Los Angeles' MLS soccer club. Hear original content, player, personnel, and fan interviews, team news, game breakdowns, supporters group chats, and so much more about LAFC. This podcast is BLACK a…

J.R. Lebert & Christian Filimon


    • Nov 8, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 59m AVG DURATION
    • 178 EPISODES

    Listeners of Defenders of the Banc - An LAFC Podcast that love the show mention: black and gold, club, team, energy, guys, fantastic, love, best, work, listen, amazing, great, like, always, new, lafc supporters, defenders of the banc, filly and the scarf, lafc history.



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    Latest episodes from Defenders of the Banc - An LAFC Podcast

    Episode 177 - Mile High Meltdown

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 60:23

    Well, Defenders... it finally happened. After a full season of rising above and falling below the playoff line, injuries, poor performances and matches that re-ignited our hope, the nail was finally driven into the coffin of the 2021 season. Needing a win and some help on Decision Day, LAFC got neither. The Colorado Rapids take the Western Conference title and LAFC's playoff hopes in an emphatic 5-2 win a mile high in Commerce City, Colorado. LAFC fell behind early and often, as Jonathan Lewis had a brace and Collen Warner became the 18th different Rapid to score this season, all before LAFC could muster a goal. Down 3-0, Chicho ignited a faint glimmer of hope, only to see it extinguished quickly by Diego Rubio. Now down 4-1, Brian, yes, Brian pulled one more back. It was former Black and Gold backliner Steven Beitashour who helped seal our fate with a beautiful cross to Dominique Badji, who had just subbed on for Mark-Anthony Kaye, and that was that. 5-2 Colorado, and LAFC is left with far more questions than answers. A huge thank you to our friends over at 110 Football for allowing us to accompany them to Denver. We are so very appreciative to be able to be there in Commerce City to be able to support our boys, and to hear The 3252 in their full-throated awesomeness. We've got a few more episodes planned to wrap up the 2021 season, and we have a ton of interviews and other fun things on board for the offseason. While we hate that it's over, we are really looking forward to all the fun that Season 5 of Defenders of the Banc has in store. Thank YOU, Defenders Nation, for all the support, and we will see you in a week for Episode 178.

    Episode 176 - Not Dead Yet!

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 98:06

    For the final time in the regular season in 2021, LAFC took the pitch at the Cathedral of the Black and Gold, Banc of California Stadium. In what was as close to a must-win match as we have played in a year, LAFC took on the white-hot Whitecaps with their playoff lives on the line, and… despite a 1-1 draw, LAFC is not dead yet. LAFC got off to a nightmarish start, allowing a goal at the 15' mark off a pass from Brian White to Cristian Dajome. Instead of giving in and giving up, LAFC took control of the match, mustering chance after chance en route to finally cracking the Vancouver defense during first half stoppage time. A ball that pinballed around the box found its way off of Vancouver defender Florian Jungwirth over to wunderkind Mamadou Fall, who taps it in from mere inches to level the match and give LAFC and the entire chorus of the faithful at the Banc a much-needed boost. In the second half, LAFC took control, again earning most of the quality chances. But LAFC's chances all went begging, especially a whisker-thin miss by Chicho Arango at the death to keep it a 1-1 final. LAFC now no longer controls their playoff destiny and will look to get help from Sporting KC, Seattle, Minnesota, and heck, maybe even Carson on Decision Day 2021. But none of it will matter unless LAFC takes all three points from Colorado. Also on this episode, Scarf gets a migraine, Filly wishes he could be aboard the Titanic, and the boys go in on idiots in the South End chanting a particular word. Congrats to the Atuestas on welcoming Matias into the family! With just one regular season match remaining on the schedule, there's still a chance, Defenders! We just need a little help from our “friends”. 

    Episode 175 - Soundly Beating Seattle To Extend The Season

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 60:42

    Episode 175 - Soundly Beating Seattle To Extend the SeasonLAFC, for the moment, is above the playoff line! Yes, it may just be for a night, but LAFC, riding a 5-game unbeaten streak, is finally back above the line. The Black and Gold put a beatdown on the West's #1 and our biggest nemesis, the Seattle Sounders, taking all three points and scoring three huge goals. It's a great Tuesday at the Banc, and you can hear all about it on Episode 175 of Defenders of the Banc!Brian Rodriguez, yes, Brian, opened the scoring for LAFC with a great shot that went 5-hole on Stefan Frei. Not content to go into the half up just one goal, Latif Blessing got on the end of a Kim Moon-Hwan pass and doubled the lead!Seattle would come out swinging in the second half, with both the crossbar and Jamal Blackman needing to make a save early, but LAFC would settle down nicely. In the 51', Filly's favorite striker, Chicho, Chicho Arango, would net his lucky 13th goal on the season, putting the good guys up three and salting the game away. As if three goals and a beatdown of Seattle wasn't enough good vibes for one Tuesday, to quote Rafiki in The Lion King, “The king has returned!” For the first time in months, Carlos Vela took the pitch in an MLS match, coming on in the 78th minute to see out the win. LAFC brought on the closer, Jordan Harvey, in the 90th, and the party at the Banc was on!Also on this episode, we celebrate the career of Carli Lloyd and the early season successes of the Lakers and Knicks while completely forgetting about Game 1 of the World Series. Why is Filly picking on Scarf? How did Panda get Super Bowl tickets? And who was Scarf profusely apologizing to? You'll have to listen to Episode 175 to find out! 

    Episode 174 - Drawing Out Our Season

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2021 69:02

    Defenders, the regular season is slowly coming to a close, but our beloved Black and Gold have not yet given up their fight for a playoff spot. LAFC headed out to Allianz Field in Minnesota to take on the Loons, and you can hear all about it here on Episode 174 of Defenders of the Banc!Despite being outplayed, and outplayed badly, through the first half-hour, LAFC were the first on the board thanks to our old friend, Tyler Miller. A curving free kick by Chicho, Chicho Arango (more on that below) found its way through the wall and, somehow, through the legs of our former keeper, to put LAFC up, 1-0. It stayed that way until the second half, when Minnesota was able to capitalize on a free kick of their own. Ozzie Alonso puts in the rebound for the equalizer, and LAFC leaves two of three points in Minnesota. It's a draw, 1-1, and, improbably, LAFC's playoff chances are still alive and kicking. The draw could be costly, however, as Kim Moon-Hwan left the game at halftime after receiving five stitches above his eye after colliding with the head referee. Yes, it's been that kind of season. LAFC will also be without the services of Jose Cifuentes for the next match due to yellow card accumulation. Couple that with the injuries to Atuesta and Ginella, and it's going to be a very thin midfield as the boys head back to the Banc to take on Seattle in just 72 hours. Yikes!Also on this episode, the boys (and Nina and Panda) head out to Premier League Mornings at the Coliseum. Spoiler alert: it was awesome! Panda wins airline miles, Scarf wins a jersey, and Filly meets his hall pass, Rebecca Lowe! We talk Dodgers, baby showers, and rum punch at 6:00 am. However, Defenders, the real treat lies at the end of this episode. Please... please stick around for the final 5 minutes or so to hear the world premiere of Filly's "Chicho Arango Song". We can promise you it's worth it, but we can't tell you when it'll be out of your head. Enjoy Episode 174!

    Episode 173 - Chicho Saves Our Season

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 67:26

    Episode 173 - Chicho Saves Our SeasonLAFC still has a pulse, thanks to the incredible efforts of our newest talisman, Mr. Automatic from the spot, Christian “Chicho” Arango! It's Episode 173, and we are breaking down all the Fun in Frisco, as LAFC took out FC Dallas, 3-2, behind a hat trick from Chicho!Make no mistake about it, LAFC came out looking lethargic and lost. Despite an early chance from Rayito, the first 25 minutes were all FC Dallas. The team owning the second-worst record in the conference found themselves down 1-0 after just ten minutes. Despite an equalizer from Chicho off a PK earned by fan-favorite Raheem Edwards in the 30', LAFC continued their Jekyll and Hyde act of 2021, giving up another goal right before half to go down 2-1. A halftime speech from Bob and a couple of smart subs lifted LAFC from the doldrums, as Chicho found the net twice more, this time in a span of 5 minutes, to give LAFC the lead, the win, and all three points!LAFC is still very much alive in the playoff chase, just 3 points under the line with 4 to play. Though we will need every point from here on out, there is absolutely no doubt Chicho has saved our season… for now. Also on this episode… lots and lots of Filly Manilow's Chicho Arongo song! Enjoy Episode 173, and please welcome us back into your AirPods in just a few days for the recap of our journey to Minnesota!

    Episode 172 - Afternoon Delight w/ KC Garcia, President of the 3252

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 158:24

    Friends, Supporters, Black and Gold faithful, lend us your ears. For a really long time. We bring on the newest President of the 3252, KC Garcia, to discuss all things Black and Gold, including our big 3-1 win over San Jose, our playoff chances, the Defenders' first time in the North End, and so, so much more. But… there's a bit of a catch. Episode 172 was a bit like your favorite roller coaster: there were ups, there were downs, there were twists and turns, times we were completely upside down and almost off the track, there was screaming, laughing, crying, and everything in-between. And that was just during the recording process. You see, Episode 172 was recorded over the span of two days, and two separate attempts at getting out a complete episode. Technical difficulties were plenty, about an hour of recording was lost, and the wonderful KC was kind enough to come BACK to Filimonster Studios about 12 hours after he left it to re-record the first half of the episode. So what does all that mean? It's a wonderful, meandering, sometimes goofy, sometimes serious, and long episode that touches on so many different topics. Rather than a traditional interview-style episode, we pepper KC with questions and stories throughout the episode, sometimes in-between the game recap, during the news and notes segments, and especially during the last 30 minutes or so of the episode. To put it bluntly, KC is amazing. He's honest, he's funny, he's patient, and, at times, he's emotional as he talks about those that came before him, his goals and vision for the future of The 3252, his VP and co-pilot on this journey, Sujin Lee, and much more. Like we said, he's great!Yes, there is also a breakdown of our big win at home over the Earthquakes, our first time both in the North End and on the surface of the sun, This Day in LAFC History, News and Notes, and all the other usual content you've come to know, expect, and hopefully love. Our favorite hashtag, #BlameFilly, is back and better than ever! Scarfstradamus is wrong, again. (shocking…) Diego Rossi scores for Fenerbahce, Tyler Miller puts up another clean sheet, Christopher Walken makes an appearance or two (so bummed we lost the first audio!), and we lay it all out there about our playoff chances this season. If you're only going to listen to part of this long, long, episode, we understand. We hope it'll be the part after the game recap, where we spend a little extra time talking with KC. He has some really wonderful and poignant things to say, and we couldn't be prouder than to have had him on our podcast. Again, our apologies for the technical issues and the occasional disjointed nature of this one. We hope you enjoy Episode 172!

    Episode 171 - Still Not The Result We Want In Carson.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 55:21

    Round 3 of the 2021 LA Derby comes to Carson, as does the heartbeat of LAFC, The 3252, behind 13 buses carrying the Choir of the Black and Gold. If the match were played in the stands, it would be a resounding multi-goal victory. Alas, the match is still played on the pitch, and all LAFC could muster was a 1-1 draw. The match started out perfectly for LAFC, as early yellows for Carson coupled with another header off an Atuesta corner for Mamadou Fall gave LAFC the early 1-0 lead. It took Carson less than 10 minutes to equalize, as Victor Vazquez threaded a pass through the center of the LAFC “defense” to Samuel Grandsir for the equalizer. Despite Raheem Edwards doing his best to earn a red card, LAFC leave the first half with all 11 men deadlocked at 1. The Black and Gold would barely threaten in the second half, while our backline was forced to dodge a few bullets off the heads of the Galaxy. Ultimately, too few opportunities proved too much of a hill to climb, and LAFC leaves Carson with a point, but not with their first victory. Also on this episode, the boys take a long, meandering walk through the banter section of their podcast, waxing poetic on everything from the Rams to Sumo wrestling to Turkish Super Lig soccer. Can LAFC right the ship in time to make the playoffs? Is Bob still in? Who's starting in keeper for LAFC? Stay with us, Defenders! Episode 172 is coming in just over a week!

    Episode 170 - The Trilogy Ends the Way It Started

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2021 75:54


    Banc of California Stadium welcomes back the Black and Gold for the first time in over 2 weeks, as LAFC takes on familiar and hated foe Portland for the third time in 2021. Unfortunately for LAFC, this one would end exactly as the others did, as LAFC falls 2-1. It's not deja vu, it's forest green Groundhog Day. Stop us if you've heard this before: Portland scores. LAFC equalizes. Portland scores again. LAFC loses. It's incredible to think that all 3 matches between the Timbers and LAFC followed the same script, but like an unoriginal scriptwriter in Hollywood, that's exactly how it played out. LAFC gives up a half-time backbreaker to Yimmi Chara to go down 1-0 right before the whistle. The Moose runs loose at the Banc to pull one back, only to have another catastrophic error by Muri put LAFC on the back foot, allowing Dairon Asprilla to slot home a rebound and put LAFC down and out, 2-1. This episode was a tough one to record, for sure, but boy did we try to have fun. Filly sings a whole bunch while Scarf channels his inner Hans Christian Andersen. We continue to be impressed by the incredible energy and passion of The 3252 while feeling exactly the opposite about Raheem Edwards. Rossi scores in Turkey, LAFC starts a Switchback, and Jamal Blackman is really, really tall. Enjoy Episode 170!


    Episode 169 - Mistakes Doom LAFC In San Jose

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2021 49:19

    LAFC headed up to the usually-friendly confines of PayPal Park for a lovely Saturday evening in San Jose, and, unfortunately, for the Black and Gold, it was a house of horrors. LAFC loses to the Smurfs, 2-0, and the playoff chase for LAFC becomes a little harder. But yay, Filly's back from Orlando!Right out of the gate, a disaster of a header pass from Mamadou Fall leads to Chofis finding a streaking Benji Kikanovic for an early 1-0 San Jose lead. After a completely uninspiring first half, LAFC came out looking to avoid the kind of mistakes they started the first half and… did exactly the same thing. Two LAFC players chose to pass in their own box rather than clear the lines or just head the damn ball out of bounds, which, of course, leads to the second goal of the match for San Jose, this one off the foot of Chofis. Despite a line change in the 58' which led to more energy, better pace, and a few more scoring chances, LAFC couldn't find one. The Black and Gold leave San Jose losers of two straight, this one at the hands of the Earthquakes, 2-0. Also on this episode, we celebrate clinching the Supporters Shield on TDILH, we check in on Diego Rossi in Turkey, and we welcome Michee Ngalina to the Black and Gold! Filly is exhausted, Scarf's voice is shot, and, most importantly, Filimonster Studios is getting a new address! Check out Episode 169 of Defenders of the Banc for all your Black and Gold needs!

    Episode 168 - What Penso Gives, Portland Takes Away

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 46:04

    LAFC touched down in Portland riding the high of a three-game win streak and a newly found goal scoring touch. Leave it to the fake grass, rain, and physical play of Portland to throw the 2021 season back into flux. The Black and Gold lose a frustrating one, 2-1, as they leave several chances unfinished at Providence Park. Hear all about it here on Episode 168!Playing against Portland is never comfortable, and their physical style tends to throw LAFC off their game a bit. This was certainly true throughout this one, and 4 yellow cards did little to deter them. After Brian Rodriguez missed a gorgeous opportunity in the 19', Portland capitalized just two minutes later. A corner and several headers find Dairon Asprilla, who heads home the opening salvo for Portland. LAFC would answer quickly, however, as a PK by Chicho, his 5th straight game with a goal, would level things before the half. During the opening moments of the second half, we almost... almost saw MLS's Goal of the Year by Jose Cifuentes. From about 40 yards out, Cifu caught Steve Clark off his line, but the ball banged loudly off the post and away. Just past the hour mark, somehow, somehow Cifu misses a wide open net off a pass from Chicho. Both he and the Defenders will be seeing this one in their sleep for some time. Oy. Portland would answer right after the LAFC miss, as sub George Fochive is able to put a rebound home with his head, and that would be it for LAFC despite 20 minutes remaining. Bob subbed in Latif, Chiqui, Moose, and eventually Bryce Duke, but it wasn't meant to be in Portland. LAFC falls below the playoff line again, and the fight continues. Also on this episode, it's just Scarf. That's right. Filly is in Orlando, and a couple last minute cancellations lead to this one being a solo Scarf project. Diego Rossi plays well, twice in one week, for Fenerbahce, while the Las Vegas Lights don't lose! It's very likely LAFC's roster is now frozen, but the cast and crew of Ted Lasso are hot, taking home multiple Emmys! Let's hope LAFC can be just as successful as they head to San Jose for a mid-week tilt against the Quakes!  

    Episode 167 - Austin Becomes Moose Country.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2021 55:03

    Major League Soccer might have tried to keep Filly and The Scarf out of Austin by scheduling a Wednesday away match, but nothing could keep LAFC's own Moose, Danny Musovski, from rampaging through Q2 Stadium! LAFC comes out of Texas with three points, beating Austin FC, 2-1. For the first of several times in the match, the soccer gods smiled upon LAFC early, wiping off an Austin goal in the 4th minute to keep the match scoreless. The first half was a bit of a snoozer the rest of the way, and LAFC enters the locker room in a scoreless battle. The second half would be very different, as LAFC came out firing, mainly off the boots of Jose Cifuentes. It was just before the hour mark that LAFC captured lightning in a bottle, as Kim Moon-Hwan worked his magic in the box and fired a cross that glanced off the outstretched elbow of Diego Fagundez. Upon further review, a penalty was awarded, and Chicho Arango, much to the delight of both Filly and Barry Manilow fans around the world, slotted it home to give LAFC the lead. LAFC was carved up for an easy goal several minutes later, as Fagundez atoned for his previous mishap, but LAFC did not relent. In the 85', a beautiful pass by Jose Cifuentes sprung Danny Musovski, and the Moose knew exactly what to do with the opportunity. Moose slots it past Brad Stuver and LAFC holds on for the 2-1 win. Three points on the road, three wins in a row, and LAFC is rocketing up the Western Conference standings. As the episode kicks off, Filly and Scarf engage in a Barry Manilow vs. Simply Red duel for the ages. LAFC signs another keeper from the deep end of the pool, the boys swoon over the new Mets documentary, and absolutely no mentions of TGLA occur on this pod. We bemoan Don Garber's scheduling, we begin to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and we continue to wait for another Las Vegas Lights victory. It's a fun pod for the boys, made even better by taking all three points on the road from FC Broccoli! 

    Episode 166 - A Brace From Chicho and a Little Help.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2021 82:07

    Sometimes you're lucky. Sometimes you're good. In LAFC's match against RSL at the Banc this week, we were definitely a little bit of both! LAFC wins consecutive games for just the third time this season, 3-2 over Real Salt Lake, and you can hear all about how it went down on Episode 166. If you weren't in your seat at the start of the match, you missed history! Eduard Atuesta takes the ball through the middle of the pitch, finds Bryce Duke, and after a small deflection, Chicho Arango puts it in the back of the net just 20 seconds from the opening whistle. It's the fastest goal in LAFC history, and the 8th fastest goal ever in MLS. LAFC is up 1-0, and the roller coaster ride has begun.RSL and LAFC would trade goals near the half-hour mark, as Damir Kreilach found the back of the net against us once again. Yeesh. Just two minutes later, Eduard Atuesta drops a dime from above and Chicho is able to head it in past Ochoa to re-take the lead. Coming out of the halftime break, LAFC gives up another headscratcher. A bad turnover by Bryce Duke leads to a run out from Anderson Julio, and RSL has equalized yet again.Not to worry, Black and Gold Faithful, because tonight, for one of the first times all season, the futbol gods are on OUR side. Right before the hour mark, Toni Datkovic attempts to make a simple back pass to his keeper, David Ochoa. However, the pass was a little to the right of Ochoa, and as he slipped, the RSL keeper could only helplessly watch as the ball trickled into the back of the net. Both sides traded opportunities, but LAFC holds on for the win, 3-2. Also on this episode, Filly doesn't just channel Barry Manilow, you may actually think he is in the room with us. Scarf waxes on about TGLA while ranting against the negativity in the LAFC fan pages (after a winning streak!). LAFC signs a keeper, Diego Rossi debuts for Fenebache, the Las Vegas Lights still haven't won, and it's Happy Former Keeper Birthday time on This Day in LAFC History! The club is off to Austin and the boys are off to bed, but not before we give you Episode 166 of The Most LAFC Podcast on Earth! 

    Episode 165 - Where's the Pumpkin Spice? It's Fall at the Banc!

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2021 83:49

    In Los Angeles, it's not the leaves changing color, or a crispness in the air, or even the smell of pumpkin spice in every Starbucks and Trader Joe's that signal the coming of fall in 2021. This year, it's the sound of the 3252 roaring as our own Defender of the Banc, Mamadou Fall, scores a brace at the Banc to give LAFC its biggest win of 2021! It's Episode 165, the first of the post-Diego Rossi era, and it's Fall!The first 17 minutes-plus gave no indication of the season change that was coming. SKC dominated long stretches of the early part of the match, but LAFC's defense played well. In the 18th minute, LAFC earns a corner, taken by Eduard Atuesta. A perfect corner finds Mamadou Fall, the 18-year old Senegalese defender who has been a beacon of light on the rough seas of the 2021 season. Rising above the defense, Fall heads it cleanly into the back of the net to give LAFC a bit of a shock lead, 1-0. LAFC would hold serve through the first half and head to the locker room up a goal. In the second half, Red Card Roger reared his head once again, as Roger Espinoza is shown red for an unintentional-but-awful looking on Chicho Arango, and SKC was shook. Latif earns LAFC a free kick at the hour mark, and the pair of Atuesta and Fall were back at it! Off the set piece, Mamadou gets on the end of another perfect ball, heading it across goal for a brace and a two-goal lead for LAFC! 10 minutes later, Duke, Moose, and Chicho link up for LAFC's third, and it looked like the lead was finally safe from our 80th minute curse. Just to be sure, Eduard Atuesta buried a Musovski-earned PK in the 85th minute to put the Black and Gold up 4, and the party was on at the Banc!Also on this episode, Jordan Harvey gets some burn, Filly rants about the haters, and Scarf remembers Tommy Mark on the 3rd anniversary of his sudden passing. Of course, there's This Day In LAFC History, a rundown of our boys on international duty, and a short prayer to prevent injuries during kickball. We hope you enjoy Episode 165 almost as much as our incredible victory over Sporting! 

    Episode 164 - Brian Weaves Through Traffic As Carson Celebrates A Tie!

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2021 80:09

    For the first and only time in the 2021 MLS regular season, Derby Days comes to the Banc! Fresh off All Star Weekend, LAFC faces their near-town rivals, the Carson Galaxy, in the most important match of the season. The LA Derby never disappoints, and this edition certainly would not. Hear all about it here on Episode 164 of The Most LAFC Podcast in all of Los Angeles County. It's been quite the week in world football as Cristiano Ronaldo lands in Manchester and Messi gets set to debut in Paris, but MLS's dream matchup of Vela vs. Chicharito would only occur on the injury list. The Black and Gold would lean on the front line of Diego Rossi, Chicho Arango, and Brian Rodriguez, and the front line would deliver. However, and stop me if you've heard us talk about this before, the defense would leave points on the pitch at home. A first-minute no-call on Diego Rossi, which certainly should have resulted in a penalty for LAFC, could have taken the wind out of our sails early, but LAFC kept fighting. Unfortunately, another bad bounce involving Muri leads to a goal for Carson, and LAFC falls behind early. RIght before the halftime whistle, it's Chicho with a moment of brilliance, both earning a PK after being fouled in the box AND burying it home a minute later. We are deadlocked at one after the first half of play. The second half would be a back and forth affair, with one moment of show-stopping brilliance by Brian Rodriguez. Weaving through three defenders in the box and shooting it over a fourth and the keeper, Rayito delivered a definite GOTY candidate. After another equalizer for Carson, it's Brian, again, this time slotting home a rebound off Jonathan Bond to give LAFC the lead for the second time. In what has unfortunately become a theme this season, LAFC could not salt the game away. Awful back line defending leaves Kevin Cabral wide open and, with just four minutes remaining in regulation, we are again level, and that's the end result. Also on this episode, Filly meets his “hall pass”, Scarf misses his Little League days, The 3252 unveils another inspiring tifo, and Niko Hämäläinen helps out his old club. We also talk a little Messi, CR7, and even a dash of Laurent Ciman. For LAFC, the fight has just begun, and warriors never stop fighting. Enjoy all the sights and sounds of Derby Day here on Episode 164. 

    Episode 163 - MLS Bancs A Win!

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 90:43

    The MLS All Star Week landed at the Banc, and your boys, the Defenders of the Banc, Filly and the Scarf were there to take it all in. What a cool weekend it was! As has become a tradition here on Defenders, we recap all of the All Star festivities with our good buddy and fellow #podfam member Jonathan Reimer. From the All Star Kickoff at the 1923 Club on Monday, to the Skills Challenge on Tuesday, to the FanFest on Christmas Tree Lane on Wednesday, all the activities leading up to the showdown between two leagues were a blast. Soccer Skee Ball? Free scarves? Meeting the Soccer Don? A truck trying to charge us $9 for a slice of pizza? Only at MLS All Star Week. But that was only the amuse-bouche, as Ted Lasso would say. The game itself lived up to all the hype and billing, despite missing the three biggest stars, Carlos Vela, Chicharito, and Gignac. The national anthems were so cool and well done, as was the MLS “jingle”, as Filly called it. The flyover got the juices flowing, and a last-minute sub into the starting XI by Bob Bradley, moving Diego Rossi into the lineup, was all the pro-LAFC crowd at the Banc needed. Liga MX struck first, with Jonathan Rodriguez capitalizing on his first chance, something Diego Rossi, unfortunately, couldn't do minutes earlier. But just like the 3252, the MLS All Stars really found their footing after the first 40 minutes. In a dream scenario for LAFC supporters, a corner kick by Eduard Atuesta found the streaking, soaring head of Jesus Murillo, and just like that, we are level at one goal apiece! The match would stay that way through 90', and PK's would decide the winner of this amazing showdown. Matt Turner did Matt Turner things, saving two shots, and a third was pushed well over the bar by Liga MX. Despite Eduard Atuesta having his shot saved and a bad miss by Nani, it was the 18-year old kid from FC Dallas, Ricardo Pepi, who stepped up with ice in his veins and called game. MLS takes the first-ever matchup between these two leagues by winning the PK battle 3-2. Also on the episode, Jonathan, Filly and Scarf discuss fast food, the appearance of drums in the North End, and an ugly jacket. All Star Week may be over, but you can relive all its glory, or at least hear three knuckleheads talk about it, her eon Episode 163. 

    Episode 162 - All-Star Broken

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2021 51:13

    With just a few days until the All Star Game heads to the Cathedral of Black and Gold, LAFC heads north of the border for the first time in 2 seasons to take on Vancouver. Spoiler alert: it did not go well. Just 15 minutes into the match, Carlos Vela called for a sub as he held his right thigh. As all LAFC front office execs and faithful alike held their collective breath, Chicho entered for a visibly pained Vela. Right before the half time whistle, Brian Rodriguez (yes, Brian!) earned a PK for LAFC, and the man who scored the first goal against the Sounders, Diego Rossi, slotted it home to give LAFC the lead. A lead!LAFC would give the lead right back at the hour mark, and from there on out, Vancouver seemed to wrestle away control of the match. It was deja vu all over again for LAFC, as an unmarked passer found an unmarked goal scorer for a header in the box with just a minute and stoppage to go. Just like that, Vancouver was on top at their own place for the first time in over 530 days. Vancouver dominated possession for almost all SEVEN minutes of stoppage, and LAFC heads into the break with their collective tails between their legs, falling to Vancouver 2-1. 

    Episode 161 - The South Does Us DIRTY!!!

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 47:24

    Gone are the days of LAFC yore, where we would score goals upon goals and rack up points both at home and on the road. Like the apothecary table in friends, this season is definitely not from yore. It's from the Twilight Zone, with a little bit of the Upside Down sprinkled in. On Episode 161, LAFC makes its only appearance in an Eastern Conference home, as the Black and Gold travel to Atlanta to take on Josef Martinez and friends. In what was a microcosm of both teams' seasons thus far, it was a fun-to-watch but ultimately unsatisfying first half of play, ending 0-0. Eduard Atuesta's beautiful free kick to Mamadou Fall, resulting in a wonderful header that found the back of the net, was ultimately called offside in what looks to be the right call. Frustrating, but right. Romero made a couple of key saves for LAFC in the half. Fresh off the second half whistle, Atlanta benefitted from a poor touch by Murillo and pinpoint passing from Barco to Josef, and Atlanta was quickly on the board. LAFC tried to muster something in the second half, bringing on Arango for Brian Rodriguez, but ultimately, their effort fell flat. LAFC would remain scoreless for the second 45 minutes, and frustration turns into another poor result. LAFC falls 1-0.To make matters worse, in the 77th minute, Diego “Chiqui” Palacios went down with a non-contact knee injury that looked… bad. Like, really bad. We hope for the best but fear the worst for our beloved wing back. Also on this Episode, we wish a happy birthday to Papa Scarf, Scarf's dad John, as well as Mohamed Traore and Rodrigo Pacheco. The episode also has notes of Christian Ramirez, hints of mentions of Staebek and Aberdeen, and finishes with a flourish of a rant by Scarf himself. It takes a lot to impress Filly! We will be back for more Black and Gold banter on Episode 162 as we break down Vancouver, but until then, try not to sharpen those pitchforks all that much!

    Episode 160 - A Poor Performance in PayPal Park. =(

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 49:04

    In LAFC's early days, San Jose was a home away from home. Goals came easy for the Black and Gold, stacks of 3 points were regularly on the menu, and the mighty 3252 took over the stadium like nowhere else LAFC journeys. Well, after today, at least we still have the 3252! LAFC falls in frustrating fashion to San Jose 2-1. The day started out with such promise, as LAFC fans would see the debut of Chicho Arango. Arango looked good early on, but a pair of mistakes by Jesus Murillo would doom LAFC. First, a free kick that was almost an Olympico by Cristian Espinoza finds Nathan, and LAFC is down before the 10-minute mark. Later in the half, Espinoza again is the talisman, finding Chofis as he streaks down the middle, and just like that, LAFC is down a pair before the half-hour bell was heard.LAFC would pull one back before the end of the half on a set piece, as Carlos Vela found Jackson Yueill, who played for LAFC tonight, with a beautiful header. Honestly, after about the hour mark, there really wasn't much of a silver lining for the club, and there's no easy way to say this… right now we are middling. We simply aren't that good.Also on this episode, Carlos Vela signs with LAFC on This Day In LAFC History, Three Ümlaüts becomes the first to cross the streams, and Dio signs with a club in Qatar. Filly and Scarf are more than ready to recap a match where we score more than 2 goals, but until then, enjoy Episode 160 of Defenders of the Banc!

    Episode 159 - Sporting Breaks The Banc!

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2021 64:40

    LAFC gets back to the Banc to take on one of MLS's top teams in 2021, Sporting Kansas City, and it's safe to say that if this wasn't rock bottom on our season, at least we don't have too much further to fall. SKC came into the Banc and demolished the Black and Gold, 4-1, for our worst home loss in team history. It all started amazingly enough, as Ted Lasso Night was celebrated at the Banc, complete with an incredible installation out on Christmas Tree Lane. There were biscuits with the boss, trivia questions, cool swag, and plenty of Instagram-worthy props to take pictures with. The cast members who play AFC Richmond's Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández), Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), and Thierry Zoreaux (Moe Jeudy-Lamour) were there and the club provided “Believe” rally towels in honor of Apple TV's great show.That's about where the fun ended for LAFC, as three goals doomed LAFC's fate before halftime. Pinpoint passing by “Moonlight” Graham Zusi earned Sporting a fourth goal, and even though Danny Musovski got one back, it would prove to be far too little, far too late for LAFC.Also on this episode, we visit the ghosts of centerbacks past in This Day In LAFC History, we welcome a new player into the fold of the Black and Gold, and we discuss our four, yes, four, members of Bob's MLS-laden All-Star Squad. On to bigger and better things in San Jose in just a few days! 

    Episode 158 - Stoppage Time Shocker!!

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2021 82:01

    LAFC played well enough to win for a full 94 minutes and about 45 seconds. But in what has become a microcosm of the 2021 season, LAFC gave up a game-tying goal in the 5th minute of three minutes of stoppage time to lose two points at home and draw with visiting Minnesota, 2-2. Better late than never, it's Episode 158, and this one was hard to put into words. But don't worry… we did!After a mostly lackluster first half, a moment of brilliance by Jose Cifuentes and a typically magical run by Carlos Vela gives LAFC the leads over Tyler Miller-led Minnesota United, 1-0. LAFC would lead going into the half, but lose Murillo to hamstring tightness at the 45' mark. Just four minutes into the second half, however, the Loons would equalize through Emmanuel Reynoso.LAFC came into the match as the only team who had yet to score via a header in 2021. Tristan Blackmon would erase that tie, and the header drought, off a corner from Eduard Atuesta in the 77', and LAFC was supposedly home. Much like Jurassic Park, Minnesota had Dotson, and after a beautiful pass from Robin Lod, Dotson would slot one home at the tail end of the 5th minute of stoppage time. Just like that, LAFC drop two points and settle for an improbable home draw, 2-2. Also on this episode, we bid farewell and good luck to Mark-Anthony Kaye and Corey Baird. Two big moves for LAFC will hopefully lead to the next big thing at the club. We talk Olympic soccer, Gold Cup, New York Mets, and even a little MLR. We have a lot of fun on this one. We've got a tough test coming up from Sporting, and you better believe Filly and Scarf will be there to talk about it all, in addition to all the off-the-pitch fun that LAFC brings us week in and week out. And who knows, maybe LAFC will announce the Arongo signing by then! We'll talk all about it next episode on 159.  

    Episode 157 - Carlos and Cifu Make A Point

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 61:42

    For the third time in a week-and-a-half, the boys in Black and Gold take the pitch, this time against usual punching bags, the Vancouver Whitecaps. Despite an awful start, LAFC salvages a point, and you can hear all about it here on Episode 156 of Defenders of the Banc!LAFC came out sluggish and sloppy, and it showed almost immediately. Forced to defend cross after cross in the first 25 minutes, Vancouver finally broke through on a Caicedo goal after some confusion between Moon-Hwan and Romero. Thirteen minutes later, the diminutive Dajome somehow rises above the rest to head one in off a free kick, and LAFC is down a pair. LAFC would respond, however, with Captain Carlos getting on the end of a beautiful through-ball from Eduard Atuesta to notch a goal in three straight contests. LAFC would end the half down one, but despite our play through the first 45', we were still alive and kicking. Bob would make wholesale changes to start the second half, bringing on Chiqui, Corey Baird, Pancho, and Eddie Segura while changing our shape to Bob's favorite formation, a 4-3-3. It paid dividends immediately, as LAFC controlled possession and started to both create chances on offense and shore up gaps on defense. A wonderstrike by Jose Cifuentes in the 75' would level the match at 2. For the second time in the match, the good people over at PRO help out LAFC, waving off a goal in the 83' by Dajome to preserve the draw. It wasn't the result we had hoped for, but a point is better than a loss, even at home. It should be noted that this is only the third time in club history we have gone down 2+ goals to come back to preserve at least a point. Also on this episode, we meet Coach Beard, Dani Rojas, and Thierry Zoreaux! OMG! We get to play our favorite game from seasons past, Name That Perez, but not for a good reason at all. Beita is back, Christian Ramirez scores in Scotland, and Randy's Donuts gets some love on This Day In LAFC History. Congrats to LAFC's Pre-Game Show on their Emmy win!We play yet again in 4 days, welcoming back Tyler Miller and the Minnesota United on Wednesday. Until then, enjoy Episode 156, and good luck to the US Women in Tokyo!

    Episode 156 - Winning Streak Splintered In Portland.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 22, 2021 74:26

    LAFC faithful, there's no easy way to say it, but the loss in Portland was awful. A goal at the outset and a goal at the death served to feed LAFC to the woodchipper in Portland, and we recap all of it here on Episode 156.  It was an inauspicious start for LAFC, surrendering a goal to Portland's superstar, Diego Valeri, just two minutes in. The 100thgoal in his brilliant career immediately energized the incredible Portland crowd. LAFC would respond 15 minutes later, as Carlos lit the candle in Portland to equalize 1-1. Despite a number of solid opportunities later in the match, we would enter the 3rd of 3 minutes of second half stoppage knotted at one. Superstar turned super sub, Sebastian Blanco, found Felipe Mora for a beautiful header at the death. Portland wins, 2-1.  Also on this episode, it's Filly who stumps the Scarf, Andy Najar who scores a goal (just not for his team), and Ted Lasso is one day closer. Yes, we address the rumors of Chicho Arango, while also addressing the state of our midfield without Eduard Atuesta. Oh, and Brian Rodriguez played in a match for LAFC for the first time in well over a year.  There's no time to lick our wounds, however, as the boys head back to the Banc to take on Vancouver in just a few days. We will be there, our buddy Vince of 110 Football will be there, Al Raitt will be there, and so should you! Until then, enjoy Episode 156 of Defenders of the Banc.   

    Episode 155 - A Win From Every Angle

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 74:30

    LAFC is finally back at the Cathedral of the Black and Gold, 24 days since our last match at home, ready to take on Real Salt Lake for the second time in 14 days. It would be yet another win for us over Salt Lake, but this one felt much more like the LAFC of old, and you can hear all about it here on Episode 155 of Defenders of the Banc!LAFC celebrated Pride Night in wonderful fashion, with LAFC coming out on the front foot in a hurry. 3 saves and a near miss in the first 5 minutes would be a harbinger of things to come, as a beautiful give and go from Diego Rossi to Jose Cifuentes and back to Rossi for the opener in the 10th minute! LAFC could have been up by at least two or three, but we will take the early lead, 1-0, every single time. In typical LAFC fashion, however, they give up the equalizer not long after. RSL beats the Black and Gold on the counter, with perfect passing (and a little luck) from Damir Kreilach to Everton Luiz to Aaron Herrera, and just like that, we are level. Scarf almost got the own goal that he predicted, Carlos banged one off the post, and Cifu somehow misses a wide open net after Kim Moon-Hwan's moment of sheer brilliance, and LAFC enters the half tied at one. David Ochoa was special, but LAFC needed to find the winner. In the second half, RSL would get their first, and only, real opportunity of the half in the opening minute. It came from Kreilach, of course, but Romero, with a little help from Farfan and Murillo, was up for the task. Several near misses and another nice save from Ochoa brings us to the 58th minute, where the birthday boy, Raheem Edwards earns LAFC a present of their own, a PK off a handball from a blistering shot inside the box. However, it still wasn't meant to be (yet!), as Ochoa dove to his left to stop a relatively innocuous attempt by Carlos Vela. Still level. Several subs for both sides, including the return of Chiqui Palacios in the 75th minute, take us to the 78th minute. It's world-class finding world-class, as Kim Moon-Hwan finds Carlos Vela with an absolute pinpoint cross from at least 30 yards away. Despite Ochoa cutting off seemingly every angle, the captain shoots a laser beam over the top of Ochoa's head and into the back of the net! Just like that, LAFC is in line for 3 points and their first three-match win streak since 2019. LAFC, despite David Ochoa's best efforts, wins 2-1 in a match that could have just as easily been 6-1 or 7-1. It was a complete effort for LAFC. Also on this episode, we chat Gold Cup results for both the US and El Tri as we welcome back Brian Rodriguez into the 18. D9U releases a shoe, Tigers collab on a beer, Filly tees up Scarf perfectly as he works the GLA into the pod not once but twice (!), Dio is still without a club, and Tony Leone nets his first professional goal. It's Scarf who rants on this episode after Filly runs down the upcoming schedule. Truly, everything is possible here on Defenders of the Banc! You'll be hearing a lot of us over the course of the next few weeks, with three more matches in 10 days. And it will also be right here on Defenders of the Banc where you can hear recaps, breakdowns, and banter the night after every episode of Season 2 of Ted Lasso, starting July 23 on Apple TV! Lots of fun and lots more to come, but until then, enjoy Episode 155!

    Episode 154 – Cooking Up Some Broccoli in Austin

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2021 69:21

    It's Episode 154, and it's our maiden voyage into Austin, Texas, and to the house that Al Raitt built, Q2 Arena. LAFC continues their winning ways on the road, 2-0, behind a standout performance from Jose Cifuentes, a goal from Diego Rossi, and another clean sheet for Tomas Romero. Back-to-back road wins, and just like that, the Black and Gold ship seems to have been righted for the time being.  An early yellow for Austin seemed to predict tidings of doom, and in the 40th minute, doom arrived for FC Broccoli. After Stuver makes a save on Kim Moon-Hwan, the rebound finds the foot of Cifu, who deposits it, as Filly would say, in the back of the polyurethane. Though Austin controlled possession for large portions of the first half, it's LAFC with the 1-0 lead at the half.  Because of a few video issues, we missed the first 13 minutes of the second half, but luckily, we still lead when the picture returns! A huge shout out to Jen over at Party Beer for working so hard to get the picture working. The teams would trade jabs back and forth throughout the remainder of the half, and like many Kenley Jansen saves, it never felt comfortable, but it kept going our way. Right before the 90', last year's two-time Golden Boot winner, Diego Rossi, was given plenty of space on a 1v1 run vs. Brad Stuver, and that was the ball game. The Vela-to-Rossi connection salts it away, and LAFC gets on the plane with a 2-0 win in their pocket.  Also on the episode, we talk about the Scarf vs. Panda Bowl, which the rest of the world apparently calls the Euro 2020 Final. It's Italy vs. England, and it's going to be a blast. We also talk Copa America and look forward to Brazil vs. Argentina. Closing out the episode, it's Scarf who rants, Filly who goes over the upcoming schedule, and, according to Bob Bradley, Bruce El-Mesmari is already Black and Gold! We've got 10 days until 155, so until we welcome RSL to the Banc, enjoy Episode 154! 

    Episode 153 - Home Away From Home Sweet Home. Feat. Vince LaRosa of 110 Football.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2021 97:58

    LAFC travels to the friendly confines of Sandy, Utah to take on Real Salt Lake, and you can hear all about it here on Episode 153 of Defenders of the Banc! It's not just any episode, however. We've brought along a good friend, Vince LaRosa of 110 Football, to talk all about the victory over RSL, the Euros, and anything else we came up with here on 153! First, the most important news, LAFC won on the road! Though we've been nothing short of a dumpster fire on the road lately, we do love playing in Sandy, and it showed. It was an awfully boring first half, save for a brilliant free kick from Captain Carlos off the crossbar. Was he merely practicing for the Skills Challenge? Mark-Anthony Kaye came off at just about the hour mark, in what will be his swan song before heading off to Team Canada for the Gold Cup, and on came Jose Cifuentes. After a literal dash of brilliance from Kim Moon-Hwan, a strike from Cifu puts the Black and Gold up 1-0.  Yes, starting keeper Tomas Romero made some amazing saves on the night, igniting a keeper controversy in the process. However, it was Eddie Segura who would make the save of the match, and maybe our young season. An El-Munir-esque back line save would preserve the margin, the victory, and the very-much-needed three points. LAFC is back above the playoff line, though not comfortably; yet all seems possible once again for our club. Also on the episode, did we mention we've got Vince? We talk Euros, his Twitter trolls, his thoughts on everything from Mark-Anthony Kaye to possession to how stats can, or cannot, define a game. We really did love sitting down with Vince, both on Episode 153 and with 110 Football on their pre- and post-match shows for this tilt at Rio Tinto. It's almost time for Austin, but until then, enjoy Episode 153!

    Episode 152 - Moon Is Great, But Sporting Is Better.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2021 54:50

    LAFC travels to Children's Mercy Park to take on Sporting Kansas City, and for about an hour, optimism reigned! Unfortunately, the match is 90 minutes long.  LAFC has not been great on the road this season, and the trend continued in KC. Carlos Vela would start the match on the bench, and Bob broke out a new formation, 3-5-2. A bad yellow in the 12thminute on Tristan Blackmon would be a harbinger of things to come. In the 25th, a bit of history for LAFC, as Kim Moon-Hwan becomes the first player of Korean descent to score for the Black and Gold. LAFC closes out the half playing well and heads into the locker room up a goal.  Coming out of the locker room, a couple of changes, as Baird and Kaye enter the match. LAFC played the first 10 minutes or so really out on the front foot. In the 57th, the Black and Gold go the boost we thought we needed, as Carlos Vela entered the match. Unfortunately, just one minute later, Tristan Blackmon would get burned by Daniel Salloi yet again, earning a red and leaving LAFC a man down for the final 30 minutes or so. It took Sporting just 2 minutes to level, as Alan Pulido pounces on a Marco Farfan turnover and finds the equalizer. LAFC fought incredibly hard, and they were almost able to see out the point. Unfortunately, doomed by another turnover, SKC strung together three passes to find Daniel Salloi in the box, and the point disappeared almost as quickly as Filly's sobriety this weekend. Despite a couple of solid chances from Vela in the final 6 minutes, LAFC falls on the road and remains under the playoff line.  Also on this episode, Filly is super salty. Like… really salty. He rants a bit. He sings several times. He throws and drops things. And he shows yet again how much he cares for his sports teams. He is a hurting Filly right now, with his Islanders having their season shut down in Tampa (home of TGLA! If you know, you know.) and now our beloved Black and Gold back in a funk. But we love our Filly! Scarf is also on the episode. We promise.  Hopefully, we will have better news to report on Episode 153, but for now, we are off to the Banc to see Guatemala take on El Salvador! 

    Episode 151 - 2-0 And It Could Have Been Maurer.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2021 57:52


    Just days after a frustrating tie at the Banc's rebirth, LAFC is back at home, this time to take on FC Dallas, the last place team in the West. The setting was ideal for a big win, and the Black and Gold did not disappoint! Here on Episode 151, we break down the searing performance. LAFC and it's captain, Carlos Vela, wasted no time getting on the score sheet. A 4th minute goal from Vela sent the entire stadium, including the incredible 3252, into a frenzy, and Vela was finally able to shed the goose egg on the season. For the most part, it was all LAFC, all the time, though the board didn't change. This was due to Dallas oft-platooned keeper, Jimmy Maurer, making 6 saves on the night and even getting help from the post.  LAFC would get the last laugh, however, as Latif Blessing scored our first “giggity goal” of the season! Carlos Vela combined with the Starman, and the VAR, to sneak past the back line of Dallas as they stopped playing and put LAFC up 2. That would be it, though it certainly felt like it could have been more. Or Maurer.  Also on the episode, we take a walk down Filly Sports Lane, as the boys chat about both Germany and the Islanders in the banter. And… no Tom Brady! Which all-time Yankee great does Scarf compare Jordan Harvey to? When will Filly be able to shave his playoff beard? And where oh where will the Defenders be watching the away match against Sporting? You'll have to tune in to the entire Episode 151 to find out! See you in a few more days!


    Episode 150 – 22,000 Strong, After Far Too Long

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2021 65:25


    467 days. That's how long it had been since our last family reunion, the last game with the Banc at full capacity. Since March 2020, the world has been turned upside down: A global pandemic, changes in all our lives, and, unfortunately, many who are no longer with us. Yet, there we all were, after 467 days, back at Christmas Tree Lane, back in the stands at the Banc, and back watching our club.  Unfortunately, despite the full-throated support of the 3252 like we've rarely heard it, and the full house joining them, LAFC couldn't hold a lead yet again, and dropped two points at home, playing to a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo. Cifu put us on top, off a beautiful corner from Carlos Vela. Just 8 minutes later, however, a series of magic acts from Maxi Urruti and Fafa Picault levels the match at one. Despite far more chances, far more shots, and far more possession, and handily outplaying our opponent yet again, it's just one point at home yet again.  It's Father's Day here at Defenders, and we absolutely want to wish all the dads out there the happiest of days. Also on this episode, we look back on the epic tailgate before the match, the incredible Bob Marley tifo, Ziggy Marley as honorary falconer, and LAFC and MLS celebrating Juneteenth with beautiful uniforms, especially the keeper kit! On this episode, hear one of the longer Rants with Filly that we've heard! We reminisce fondly about Open Cup wins of seasons past, we celebrate two new countries that can be added to Defenders nation, and we highlight the relative successes of our clubs in Euro 2020. Why was Filly wearing a “We Are Marshall” t-shirt? Did Scarf mention Tom Brady on this week's episode? And which new sponsor could the Defenders really use a relationship with? You'll have to listen to all of Episode 150 to find out! Episode 150. Wow. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating our 100th, and here we are, at 150. We are so grateful to all of Defenders Nation for your incredible support, and we can't wait to celebrate 200 with you soon!


    Episode 149 - Vaccination Event June 12! (Featuring Dr. Joseph De Sena, Kaiser Permanente)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2021 47:43

    It's Episode 149, and this one is a little different than most of the others. Today, Filly and Scarf have partnered with Kaiser Permanente, the provider for the Team Physicians for LAFC, to help get the word out about THREE special vaccination events coming up in the next few weeks! We sit down with fellow LAFC supporter Dr. Joseph De Sena, Family Medicine, from Kaiser Permanente's East LA Medical Offices to talk about the Covid vaccine and answer questions about Covid-19. On June 12, Kaiser Permanente will be hosting a FREE vaccination event at their East Los Angeles Medical Offices, and the Defenders would love to see as many of the LAFC faithful who still need to get vaccinated come out! The event takes place from 8:30am - 12:00pm, at the ELA Medical Offices on 5119 Pomona Blvd.  Come hang with Scarf, Dr. Joseph De Sena, and plenty of your fellow LAFC supporters! You can win a signed Carlos Vela jersey just by getting vaccinated, along with other LAFC co-branded merchandise, Defenders of the Banc swag, and more! A few things to know before heading out: The vaccine is FREE. All three types (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J) will be available.All you need is a photo ID with your BIRTHDATE.Your medical insurance status DOES NOT MATTER.Your immigration status DOES NOT MATTER.All people ages 12 and up are eligible for the vaccine. See you in East LA on the 12th!

    Episode 148 - A Man Up, A Goal Down.

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2021 79:03

    In what was billed as the “Marquee Matchup in MLS” this week, East meets West at the Banc, with NYCFC taking on LAFC at the Cathedral of the Black and Gold. Here on Episode 148, Filly and Scarf recap the frustrating 2-1, complete with a breakdown of the breakdowns, thoughts on what could be next, and more than a few hot takes.  Before they get into the match recap, the Defenders recount a fun weekend in Solvang spent celebrating Nina’s birthday. Wineries, confetti balloons, and a few aebelskivers made for a very fun weekend, which even included running into a very good friend of the pod. They run through a few LAFC-related news and notes, including successful surgery for Mahala and potential international matches for a few of our boys in Black and Gold, and a few moments in LAFC history involving Carlos Vela off the pitch. And of course, no recent pod would be complete without an update on Brian Rodriguez and Almeria. Next week is a huge week for Almeria! The elephant in the room, however, is our loss, at home, against NYCFC. The two clubs had battled to consecutive 2-2 draws in their previous meetings, but only New York would get to two goals in this match. A somewhat humdrum first half ended scoreless, but that proved to be the calm before the storm. LAFC would draw first blood as Corey Baird slotted home a deflected Mark-Anthony Kaye pass to put the home side up a goal. After an awful turnover by Kaye, however, Jesus Medina would level the match at 1 goal apiece. After a frustrating series of missed opportunities and substitutions, NYCFC scores the winner off a corner in the 90th minute, as an offside-looking Ismael Tajouri-Shradi taps one home on the back post to grab 3 points for the away side. Despite dominating large stretches of the match, LAFC loses and the frustration continues.  Who does Scarf think LAFC could bring in to help right the ship? (It’s a real hot take) When does Filly think the decline of LAFC actually began? And what do the Defenders have in store for the international break? Tune in to Episode 148 to find out! Here’s to hoping better times are in store for LAFC!

    Episode 147 - Bracing For 3 Points.

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2021 54:33

    Episode 147 - Bracing For 3 PointsLAFC is back at home, back in the friendly confines of Banc of California Stadium, and looking to right the ship amidst their worst stretch in our club’s short history. Waiting for us at home are the Colorado Rapids, just in time for an LAFC rebirth. The fireworks began before the match, as Olly flew high above the beautiful pitch for the first time in over a year. After welcoming back Steven Beitashour, currently out injured for the Rapids, the stadium came to life during the player announcements, as Carlos Vela was announced as starter and captain.LAFC wasted no time in applying pressure to the Rapids’ back line. Just 14 minutes in, LAFC would strike first, as Corey Baird sprung Diego Rossi for his first of the match. 20 minutes later, Tristan Blackmon would find Vela with a beautiful ball, who threaded it to Rossi once more and the rout was on. Though Colorado would get one back, LAFC closes out the match, and three sorely needed points. It’s our second of four straight home matches for the boys in Black and Gold, and the timing is right for an LAFC surge. On This Date in LAFC History, we welcome a German powerhouse to the Banc, while our news and notes segment sends out the best of wishes for a speedy recovery to Phillip Ejimadu. We spend a little time chatting to 110 Football, Scarf brings up the Patriots, and Filly keeps singing all about his apparent man-crush, Brian. See you next month for Episode 148!

    Episode 146 - Listless In Seattle.

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2021 64:11


    Episode 146 – Listless in Seattle 13th Place. Last in the Conference. LAFC officially wades into uncharted waters in the MLS table, escorted there by a listless, punchless 2-0 loss courtesy of the Seattle Sounders.  LAFC is left looking for answers on the offensive side of the ball yet again, and a few key defensive miscues plague the back line. The biggest question heading into the match was whether or not we would see Carlos Vela. After the match, however, there were far more questions than answers.  The two sides played a largely unremarkable scoreless first half of play, though Seattle clearly had the better chances. Brad Smith and Will Bruin both missed fantastic opportunities, while LAFC struggled to get anything going besides a few shots from outside the box from Eduard Atuesta. That’s not going to cut it against the defending Western Conference champs.  Twelve minutes into the second half, Xavier Arreaga’s header towards the back post finds the back of the net, and Seattle was off to the races. A Brad Smith header after 5-6 passes on a string put the home side up 2-0, and that was all she wrote in Seattle.  There were certainly a few silver linings amongst the gloom in the Pacific Northwest. Carlos Vela made his return to the pitch, checking in at the 70-minute mark. For the first time all season, Rossi and Vela shared the pitch, though neither generated any chances. Kim Moon-Hwan gave LAFC a much-needed punch after he came on in the 77th minute, and Pablo Sisniega continues to be solid in net. Neither goal could be attributed solely to him.  Let’s be clear, LAFC supporters: This is a test. A test unlike any we have endured before in our club’s short history. But everything is set up well for LAFC to rebound and rise like a phoenix from the still-smoldering ashes. Our next four matches are all at home, and LAFC gets a 3-week break in-between the first two and the last two. We need to get healthy, we need to score, and we need at least 10 points from those four matches.  Also on this episode, we open some Topps soccer cards, we get an email from LAFC, and we give the Angel City Chicks some much-needed love. Why is Brian Rodriguez throwing a temper-tantrum during a match? Who scored the first goal in LAFC/Las Vegas Lights history? And which one of the Defenders was described as both “eye candy” and a fruit roll-up? You’ll have to listen to find out! See you for 147, and hopefully, for a big LAFC win at home against Colorado! 


    Episode 145 - New Moon. Same Frustration.

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2021 70:26

    Derby Day is upon us for the first time in 2021, and even though it’s down in Carson, and even though only 8,000 fans would be allowed in the park, there truly isn’t anything like the Battle for Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the Black and Gold faithful would be treated to a frustrating evening in Carson, as the boys fell 2-1. It’s Episode 145, and it’s this season’s biggest match so far in the new campaign.  On this episode, we discuss the potential LAFC selloff on the horizon, the debut of Kim Moon-Hwan, the lingering injury of the king, Carlos Vela, and the atmosphere in Carson on match day. Eduard Atuesta signs for another year, Kenneth Vermeer makes it officially official in Cincy, and the “Former LAFC Player Round-up” sees Walker with another assist.  Also on 145, Scarf actually hops back on the Team Brian train for a minute, and he even brings Filly with him while our “Wait, What?!” moment of the podcast sees three Black and Gold players in a phone booth. (Hint: none of them changed into Superman.) LAFC doesn’t have a ton of time to lick their wounds, as the club heads to Seattle to take on the Sounders next Sunday.  To all the moms out there, we here at Defenders wish you the very best Mother’s Day you could ask for. We love you all, and we cannot wait to wash this one away with a big win in Seattle for Episode 146.

    Episode 144 - One Point. Two Few Shots

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2021 46:24

    Episode 144 – One Point. Too Few Shots LAFC heads out on the road for the first time in 2021, taking on the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Stadium. With Carlos Vela still sidelined, the Black and Gold Faithful were able to take solace in the return of last year’s Golden Boot winner, Diego Rossi. Unfortunately, LAFC was only able to take a point from Houston.  It was a bit of a snoozer in the first half, as Pablo Sisniega was seldom tested before the half. LAFC didn’t muster much of an attack on offense either, and the half ended scoreless. LAFC took an early second-half lead off of an excellent bit of passing, as the combination went Rossi-Atuesta-Kaye-Latif-Baird for our only tally of the match. LAFC gave up the equalizer off the ensuing kickoff, however, and the match would end in lackluster fashion, 1-1. LAFC remains undefeated, both against Houston in MLS matches and on the 2021 season, but it’s a dull point to be had in Houston.  Also on the episode, we reminisce about Dio, Lee, and BWP, Brian Rodriguez plays 9 minutes for Almeria, Party Beer Co. defeats Panda, LMU can’t hold up their end of the bargain in the NCAA Soccer Tournament, and we enjoy the Kentucky Derby despite the result of Rock Your World. Filly makes up a new word, Scarf reserves judgment, and we struggle to find our “Wait, What?!” moment. Next week, however, should provide plenty of fireworks, as it’s L.A. Derby Week for the first time in 2021! We can’t wait for episode 145, and we definitely can’t wait to take on Carson! 

    Episode 143 - A Point-Ed Effort Against Seattle

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2021 67:04

    Episode 143 – A Point-ed Effort Against Seattle It’s Episode 143, and we love you, too! LAFC welcomes a team into the Cathedral of the Black and Gold that has earned no love in our club’s history, the Seattle Sounders. In what has become the second most important set of matches on LAFC’s schedule every year, LAFC’s depth would come into play for the second week in a row, as the Black and Gold took a well-earned point at home.  In a packed News and Notes segment, we recount Scarf’s love for Adama Diomande, Carlos Vela’s health at Dodger Stadium, and revel in the fact that LAFC was part of the most-watched soccer match in the US last week! LAFC and Farmer John remain BFF’s, an Anteater signs with the first team, and the club continues to set the standard as they debut a fully-vaccinated supporters section.  LAFC earns a wonderful draw at home, behind another golazo for Eduard Atuesta on a set-piece and another good effort by Pablo Sisniega. LAFC sees the debut of both Marco Farfan (as a starter) and Cal Jennings (as Filly’s new hair inspiration and LAFC forward). The Colombian center-backs star again while we wait for a new Moon to rise in Los Angeles.  We’ve had a wonderful time with our new friends at FLEX and Party Beer Co., and we’ve been lucky enough to have had an even better time at the Banc! With LAFC on the road, we’ll be live tweeting the match against Houston on May 1. The game may not matter anymore for the U.S. Open Cup, but every point matters to us, and to LAFC on our way to the MLS Cup this season! See you for 144.  For the SOCIALS:LAFC's depth nets them a well-earned point against Seattle at home. Dio scores, Max Bretos brings bacon back to LAFC, and Eduard Atuesta is simply world class. It's Episode 143, and we love you, too!

    Episode 142 - Forza Mo!!

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2021 60:40

    The 2021 season has started, and, in typical LAFC fashion, the boys in Black and Gold open with a win at home! Austin FC kicks off their professional lives with a match at the Banc, and the lads from Texas would leave the match green with envy over the 3 points won by LAFC.  The match started with an incredible tribute to Mo Fascio, both from the club and the 3252. A moment of silence was followed by a moving video tribute to Mo, and the 3252 produced a heartfelt tifo. On the national TV broadcast, Stu Holden and the rest of the broadcast had wonderful things to say in Mo’s memory, and both MLS and Commissioner Don Garber again tweeted about the tributes. Mo, we will continue to honor your memory, your energy and passion, and your mission to unite people through the world’s game. In a bit of a surprise, the first of many over the course of about 30 hours, LAFC cut ties with oft-starting keeper Kenneth Vermeer, thus finally ending the year-long saga of which goalie will start between the pipes. (Hint: Pablo looked GREAT tonight!) Andy Najar apparently isn’t injured anymore, but he’s also in the nation’s capital, taking the pitch with former LAFC’er Adrien Perez.More importantly, however, was our chance to socially-distance ourselves at the Banc with 4,400 of our closest friends. Austin FC, or as we affectionately refer to them as, FC Broccoli, begins their life as an MLS franchise by entering the Cathedral of the Black and Gold, Banc of California Stadium, to pick up their first loss in club history. It didn’t start out well for LAFC. A hamstring issue kept last year’s Golden Boot winner, Diego Rossi, off the pitch, while a miscommunication between Carlos Vela and the coaches led to Vela being subbed in just the 22’. No Vela, no Rossi, and no Rayito? All right, all right, all right! LAFC got to work, and stellar back line play coupled with goals from Corey Baird and Mahala helped the Black and Gold to open the season right for a 2-0 win. Also on the podcast, our “Wait, What?!” moment makes its triumphant return! What leads Maurice Edu’s birthday shoutout to become a good, old-fashioned “Rants with Filly”? Which player made their LAFC debut, almost four years since being traded away from LAFC? Where was Matthew McConaughey? And which member of the pod had no idea about pager code or the significance of the numbers “143?” You’ll have to listen to Episode 142 to find out! It’s a win to kick off the season, and another fun episode of “The Most LAFC Podcast on Earth!”

    Episode 141 – Revolution Redo Review

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2021 68:17

     The preseason is over, for LAFC at least, so that must mean it’s time for another episode of “The Most LAFC Podcast on Earth”, Defenders of the Banc! Welcome to Episode 142. There’s a bit of banter at the beginning of the episode, complete with Filly’s thoughts on Wrestlemania, Scarf heading back into the classroom for the first time in over 13 months, and a shoutout to the LA Tourism Board for helping us catch the match at the Banc. This Day In LAFC History has a ton of LAFC-relevant birthdays, along with a kit that Filly actually doesn’t have in his closet! Pepsi and the LAFC Foundation are up to some really good things in the community, and Scarf finds out he might be a Pepsi guy after all. LAFC surprises the millions (and millions!) with two new trialists, Mamadou Fall and Julian Gaines, both of whom actually make the 18 this weekend! The Lights get a goal from the Moose while Scarf does several deep dives to find LAFC connections!  The crux of the episode centers around yet another preseason tie, this time a 3-3 draw with the Revs. LAFC finds itself in yet another 2-0 hole, only to dig itself out and salvage a point at home once more. Corey Baird looked solid, the keeper position is still up for grabs, and Eddie Segura scores a goal! Filly Wonka (you’ll get it) runs down all the ins, outs, do’s, and don’ts about our opening match against Austin FC. When will we hear about tickets? Where do we park? What can we bring inside? Check out this episode for all the details on that, a pretty solid rundown of their roster, and a trip down memory lane of when the USMNT used to qualify for World Cups and Olympic Games! Enjoy Episode 142, and, in just 4 more sleeps, our first One More Sleep of 2021 will be live on IG AND up on YouTube!  

    Episode 140 – Back at the Banc for (Pre) Season 4!

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2021 50:11

    Aaaaaaand… we’re back! It may only be for a pre-season tilt against the Revolution, but wow, does it feel good to be back at the Banc! If we’re at the Banc, then it must be time for Episode 140! Season 4 is underway, and we’ve even got some bonus soccer! On this episode, we catch up with a ton of news and notes from the past 2 weeks. Player news? Oh, we’ve got your player news! Brian Rodriguez, Adama Diomande, Mohamed El-Munir, Phillip Ejimadu, CC Uche, and Jorge Gonzalez all make the cut, and none of them are even on the team!  We also bring you a full recap of the pre-season match against New England. Want something more? OK, how about a recap of the first 30 minutes of the unannounced pre-season match against our new USL affiliate, Las Vegas Lights? We’ve got that, too! And be careful, llamas, because the Moose was loose! How did the Canadian Glory Machine, Mark-Anthony Kaye, fare against the Cayman Islands? Why was Tomas Romero one of the few bright spots for El Salvador? And how did Jordan Harvey move up a few MLS Leaders lists without even playing in a match? You’ll just have to listen to this episode to find out! Also on this episode, we cover MLS’s new concussion substitution rule while Scarf attempts to break down the US Open Cup’s 2021 qualification process. (Get your notebooks ready) In unsurprising news, Larry Freedman and John Thorrington make it official. And it wouldn’t be an episode without Filly finding a way to work in his Indiana Hoosiers.  We’re back and in full stride here in 2021. Episode 140 gets the ball rolling on what we hope will finally be the season we bring home MLS Cup. Stay with the Defenders for all your Black and Gold news for season four! See you next week for Episode 141!

    Episode 139 - Eddie Segura! (feat. Lalo Flores)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 27, 2021 57:58

    It's Episode 139 of Defenders, and this one is special! On this episode, we have a REAL Defender of the Banc, everyone's favorite center-back, Eddie Segura! Eddie sits down with Filly, Scarf, and our newest member of the Defenders squad, Lalo! We ask the questions, Eddie answers them, and Lalo does a wonderful job of translating everything. It's our first bi-lingual episode, and we couldn't be happier to bring it to you!Eddie is fantastic, and we delve into all kinds of fun stuff with #4. What crazy circumstances led to Eddie making his senior team debut at 16? How did it feel representing his country? What's it like playing in front of the 3252? Or no fans at all during the pandemic? And how adorable is his son, Martin?! Also on the episode, Filly shows off the one Spanish word he knows, Scarf makes a shameless plug for Italian soccer, and Lalo becomes our favorite Flores twin. (We still love you, Gaston. Just not as much.) A big thank you to Diego (formerly of LAFC PR) and Vic (from Athletes in the Making) for helping us put this interview together, and of course to Eddie and his son Martin for giving us their time! Finally, the episode opens with a moment for Mo. The entire LAFC community mourns the passing of Mauricio "Mo" Fascio, a wonderful father and a friend to so many. Rest well, Mo.  

    Episode 138 - Emperor Newsom Relaxes Restrictions

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2021 59:08

    Season 4 is almost upon us, and, with the preseason about to begin, Filly and the Scarf are here to catch you up on all the Black and Gold news from the past few weeks!The biggest news of the last 11 months or so MUST be the potential return of at least some supporters to the Cathedral of the Black and Gold, Banc of California Stadium, starting on April 1. As long as numbers continue to progress in a positive direction, we can expect at least some of us to be there for our boys!LAFC announced a rather abbreviated preseason schedule, featuring an intrasquad scrimmage and two games against the Revolution. It's the first Scheduling with the Scarf segment of 2021!LAFC also finalized two incredibly important partnerships, one with the Las Vegas Lights of the USL and another with Real So Cal and their youth squads. The pipeline has now been extended through Southern California and even into the Nevada desert! LAFC brought in Steve Cherundolo to head the USL club, bringing a USMNT and Bundesliga legend's pedigree to the pipeline. From youth opportunities, to the Academy, to USL, and on to the parent club, the Black and Gold system is stronger than ever. We couldn't be happier for our Athletic Training staff, Sean and Luis, as they were named Staff of the Year according to PSATS. Our first captain in club history, Laurent Ciman, retired to join Thierry Henry's staff on Club de Foot just in time to be deserted by the leader of the Foot Clan, becoming the second former LAFC member to join the coaching ranks this offseason. (Benny!) On the player news front, Uruguay hopes Diego Rossi and the recently loaned Brian Rodriguez can give their national team a lift. It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for Rayito in Spain, either. it's a pair of U-23 national team call-ups for Tomas Romero (El Salvador) and Marco Farfan (USA). Hopefully, they'll still be on the final rosters for their respective countries when they are announced March 8. Our history-making trio of teens, Erik Duenas, Tony Leone, and Christian Torres, were all called in to join El Tri's U-17 camp, marking another first in their wonderful careers. Finally, our eMLS stud, RemiMartinn, makes one more push for the eMLS Cup in the Last Chance Qualifier, beginning March 16. We are back and couldn't be happier. Our fans are getting healthier, our club is practicing again, and we are together in World Famous Filimonster Studios for another episode! Let's get back to the Banc!

    Episode 137 - Brought To You By the Letters "CBA" and "DP"

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 7, 2021 48:54

    Filly and the Scarf are back for another episode of “The Most LAFC Podcast on Earth”, and there are tons of LAFC-related news stories to discuss! Two big stories dominated the LAFC-multiverse: A new CBA agreed upon by MLS and MLSPA and the departure of another 3rd DP. Filly breaks down the numbers and potential improvements to be seen in the new collective bargaining agreement, and there are a lot of numerical details to be hashed out, indeed. The most important detail, however? The potential for a lockout and delay to the start of the season looks less and less likely. It also looks like Brian Rodriguez (and his agent) got his wish, soft of… At the close of the transfer window, LAFC and Spanish 2nd (yes, 2nd) division side Almeria agreed on a loan deal through the end of the LaLiga 2 season with an option to buy. Brian’s time with the Black and Gold looks like it has come to a rather unceremonious end. It could all work out very nicely for LAFC, with a potential profit in the millions of dollars when Almeria picks up the option. How much is there to the rumors of an LAFC takeover in Las Vegas? We certainly hope a lot! LAFC may be on the verge of establishing another formal affiliation with a USL side, the Las Vegas Lights. More details to come, but Filly and Scarf will keep their fingers, toes, and eyes crossed until then. We cover so many other smaller stories on this episode, too! What happened during Tristan Blackmon’s time at the USMNT camp? Not a whole lot, unfortunately, as he was sent home with a concussion and a doctor’s note to miss work for a short time. Tomas Romero was signed to a Homegrown contract, potentially locking up our third keeper position going into the 2021 season. McDonald's upgrades the modem at RemiMartinn’s gaming room while bringing back their spicy chicken nuggets. Benny Feilhaber has a new job at his old stomping grounds. And why, oh why, is the hashtag #BringNajarHome trending? #ThanksBillHamid! Also on this episode, the Defenders practice some mindfulness while restarting the Antoine Griezmann rumors. We also conjure up the ghosts of LAFC players past: Nico Czornomacz, Buba Lopez, Lamar Batista, James Murphy, Fito Zelaya, Quillan Roberts, and many others are mentioned on the menagerie of thoughts that is Episode 137. Stay tuned for Episode 138 and the long-awaited second part of Brian’s Song!

    Episode 136 - Murillo, Moon, and More!

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 24, 2021 35:50


    It’s the first episode of 2021 and the first of Season 4! Filly and Scarf are back in Filimonster Studios to kick off the year with a rundown of all of the happenings since the calendar flipped to this year. The front office has been quite busy in 2021. Mission accomplished for LAFC’s chief concern of the offseason, as Jesus David Murillo is officially back in Black and Gold. The Colombian combination of center-backs was a force towards the end of 2020, especially in CCL, and we predict more great things ahead for the firm of Murillo and Segura this season. Reinforcements are also on the way for LAFC, as the club brings in our first player of Korean descent, Kim Moon-Hwan. The fully-capped South Korean brings great pace and versatility to the back line. Versatility was also at the forefront of bringing in the 2018 MLS Rookie of the Year, Corey Baird, from Real Salt Lake. Will he push for a spot in the 11, or take a super-sub role in 2021? Either way, LAFC has options with these two new additions. LAFC also brings in a young keeper, acquiring the rights to Tomas Romero from Philadelphia. The 2021 SuperDraft provided three more young players, and Scarfstradamus got one exactly right with our first-round pick. Danny Trejo, the pride of Mendota, joins LAFC after being selected 14thoverall. We really love this kid, and we certainly hope he sticks with the club. In the 2nd round, it was center-back C.C. Uche from Ohio State. LAFC completed their draft taking an Anteater, Alvaro Quezada. Also on this episode, we begin remembering several LA icons, as we say goodbye to Tommy Lasorda, Don Sutton, and Larry King. We also take a moment to honor the life of legend and Civil Rights Movement icon Hank Aaron. RemiMartinn is back at it again in eMLS, and he moves up a few spots in the power rankings after the first round of competition. Round out the episode, Fortnite adds a sweet LAFC skin (and two cool, new emotes) to the popular game. We’re glad to be back at it again in 2021, and we cannot wait to begin Defending the Banc with all of you, the Black and Gold Faithful, this year!


    Episode 135 - Goodbye 2020!

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2020 90:13

    Defenders faithful, Episode 135 is our love letter to you. We are ALL ready to see 2020 kick rocks, but before it goes, Filly and the Scarf want to give it one more "how's your father". Unscripted. That's right, Episode 135 is completely unscripted! This episode is our little gift to you. Come join us on a wild ride that we hope perfectly caps off whatever it was that we will look back on in 2020. You'll get a short This Day In LAFC History, as we wish a very, very happy birthday to the Game Changer himself, Latif Blessing. We also update you on some former LAFC player movement, from Columbus, to our nation's capital, to the beautiful city of Ho Chi Minh. Filly and Scarf give you their top 5 moments of 2020! The best part? Even though they go through about 15 moments, NONE of them are the same! While neither of their lists included Andy Najar or Brian Rodriguez, the boys give you their take on the 5 best moments of an otherwise forgettable year. Finally, both of the Defenders leave you with their thoughts on the year. Some of it is LAFC related. Some of it is not. But all of it is from the heart. Whatever 2020 meant for any of you, the millions... and millions, please know that you meant the absolute world to the both of us. Thank you for giving us even a few moments of your time, and, honestly, we hope you'll come with us on the journey of wherever and whatever 2021 brings us. We love you, and we love the Black and Gold!

    Episode 134 – 308 Days Later…

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2020 99:43

    The hellish ride that has been 2020 and the roller coaster that has been LAFC this season converged in Orlando for our final match this year. LAFC, as improbable as it may have seemed at times, found itself in the final of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, and oh, what a ride it was! After a contentious and well-played first half by both sides, LAFC, without Eduard Atuesta, raced out to a 1-0 lead off of a chip shot from the 2020 Golden Boot winner, Diego Rossi, from a great pass by “The Canadian Glory Machine”, Mark-Anthony Kaye. Unfortunately, LAFC couldn’t hold the lead, as the most capped man in Tigres history, Hugo Ayala, leveled the match at one apiece. It would be a war of attrition until the waning moments, when Tigres’ star André-Pierre Gignac found a relatively open net in the 84th minute, ending the season for the Black and Gold and dashing the hopes of a win in our first final. On this episode, you’ll hear a hurt pair of Defenders. We all feel for our club in this loss, and there is NO doubt in our minds that you are hurting, too. But you’ll also hear optimism from Filly and the Scarf. You’ll hear hope! And you’ll hear our thoughts on a fantastic cup run that came up just short. Should Bob be man-marking, or at least putting someone on the back line? Why is Brian Rodriguez in the doghouse? And who are Filly and the Scarf’s favorite emerging players from 2020? Also on Episode 134, we thank the millions (and millions), we miss Founders and Christmas Tree Lane, and we play Name That Perez one last time. Here’s to one heck of a ride in 2020, and one more episode of the most LAFC podcast on Earth in season 3!

    Episode 133 – LAFC: América’s Team!

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2020 73:28

    LAFC defeats Club América to move on to the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League final! In the single most important match in LAFC history, on the single biggest stage in LAFC history, against the single biggest opponent LAFC has ever played in a match that matters, LAFC comes away victorious! LAFC defeats América, 3-1, to move on to the final. In order to get to the final, however, LAFC took us on a roller coaster ride the likes of which we have never experienced in our three years of matches. LAFC came out on the front foot, dominating much of the first ten minutes, only to surrender a set piece goal in the 11th minute. Despite the early strike, LAFC continued to take it to Las Águilas until a stoppage time horror show starring Eduard Atuesta. Atuesta came crashing in to take a shot inside the box, clearly taken out, where he should have earned a penalty, without a doubt. However, the referee clearly missed it and there was no call. Atuesta and América’s keeper/telenovela actor Memo Ochoa got tangled up behind the play. As Ochoa stood over Atuesta, it appeared Atuesta made contact with Ochoa, so much so that Ochoa was sent writhing on the ground. Did Atuesta really make thatmuch contact with Memo? He certainly convinced the refs that he did, as Atuesta was sent off with a straight red card. Just like that, LAFC was both down a goal and down a man, and the half was over. It was truly a nightmare ending to a frustrating first half. With Latif coming on at the half for Moose, there was still good reason to be optimistic that LAFC could find the equalizer. However, we’re not sure that anyone could have predicted the lightning storm that ripped through Orlando. In the 46thminute, our fearless leader, our captain, and the best player on the pitch, Carlos Vela intercepts an errant pass in the attacking half and slots it past Memo for a goal! Just like that, it’s 1-1! And if you blinked, you missed Vela scoring AGAIN just seconds later in the 47th minute! Lightning struck twice in just over a minute, and LAFC is on top, 2-1, though still down a man. After that point, the match was simply incredible. Carlos Vela played his best half since his battles with Zlatan, Kenneth Vermeer made save after save and played with incredible poise, Latif was everywhere, and the back line held to preserve the lead going into stoppage. After another takeaway, Diego Rossi broke in on Memo, who is able to make an incredible save on the 2020 Golden Boot winner. However, the shot rebounded off Memo right to the streaking Latif Blessing, who slotted it home for the nail in América’s coffin. LAFC is headed to their first final in club history! Also on this episode… not much else. Yes, we cover This Day in LAFC History and News and Notes, but it’s quick. Filly does a quick history lesson on Club América, Scarf uses the word homeostasis, and the boys both wonder where Paul might be. But mostly, we celebrate the huge win by LAFC! LAFC has three days, and likely no Eduard Atuesta, to get ready for Tigres in the final on Tuesday. Listamos!!!

    Episode 132 - We Beat Cruz Azul!

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2020 80:51

    Finally… LAFC has come BACK… to the Champions League! Crashing through the door like Stone Cold entering the ring, the boys in Black and Gold looked to make a statement against another Liga MX opponent, and, as we said on the pod several times… “Oh! What a night!” LAFC looked to exercise several sets of demons as they took on Cruz Azul in Orlando. The 2020 MLS season. The Covid Cup experience in Orlando. Heck, even the moniker of not being able to win games that matter. Those demons got way more exercise than Scarf has these past 9 months. LAFC is now the torchbearer for MLS in the 2020 edition of CONCACAF Champions League. It didn’t look good for the boys just 14 minutes in, as an early PK put La Máquina up 1-0. But from there on out, Cruz Azul put on a pair of cement boots. LAFC held their opponents to just one shot on target for the entire match, Carlos Vela struck first for LAFC after drawing a PK. With the score level in the winner-take-all match, LAFC began to re-assert themselves in the second half. It would be Mahala Opoku in the 58’, not third DP Brian Rodriguez, who would be the first off the bench for LAFC, taking the place of Danny Musovski. It would take just a dozen minutes for Mahala to play the role of game-changer for LAFC, slotting a beautiful one-timer past Cruz Azul’s backup keeper and putting LAFC up for good, 2-1. The stars of the show, however, had to be the stellar backline. A combination of Chiqui, Segura, Murillo, Blackmon, and El-Munir shut down any semblance of an attack from the Liga MX side, and just like that, LAFC moves on to the semi-final as the lone MLS side remaining in the tournament. On this episode, you’ll hear everything you expect from the Defenders of the Banc. Our “Wait, What?!” moment comes rather early in the episode, as Cruz Azul seems to have omitted their best attacker! We miss Lee Nguyen a little on This Day In LAFC History while we help Marco Farfan change from forest green to black and gold. You’ll hear how right Filly got certain predictions while also getting a rant from… the Scarf?! Yup, Scarf sounds off on this one, with the little voice that remains towards the end of the episode. It’s a date with Club America in the semis on Saturday, but, until then, enjoy Episode 132 recapping one of the biggest wins in club history!

    Episode 131 - One Pod To Rule Them All (Part 2, Feat. FCFC Podcast)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2020 102:54


    *Disclaimer: This episode contains some swears. Please be warned, colorful language abounds.Here on Episode 131, Defenders Nation, you're in for something very, very different. Don't worry, we will still have our CCL Preview episode. And we will still have our 2020 MLS Season Recap episode. And we will still have a very special Holidays with the Defenders episode. But... this is not any of those. For the next hour and a half-plus, come with the Defenders and our good friends over at FCFC Podcast, Slim, Spice, and Dweez, as we take a journey to places we rarely go. This journey actually started over at FCFC Podcast's platform, with Filly and the Scarf sitting down for almost 2 hours with them. They were gracious enough to return the favor, and this is part 2 of the superpod collaboration between Defenders and FCFC, "One Pod to Rule Them All!" Hear about Dweez's concept of the "closed internet", why Slim is lovingly called the "Heart of Gold Dickhead", and who would make Spice's voice crack if he met them today. The good men over at FCFC discuss many topics through their Black and Gold tinted lenses, including the 2020 MLS season, CCL, Brian Rodriguez, Andy Najar, and "The Chainsaw" Christian Torres. We also get beverage recommendations from four of the five guys on the episode (nobody asked Scarf...), a Rant with Filly in the middle and Storytime with Filly at the end, and the dream guest for each of them to interview. Shout out to Alyssa Milano. Who is the "North End Sex Symbol"? Should Slim change his dream guest now that certain pictures have come out on Twitter? And is Dweez STILL talking about tea? You'll have to come with us on this magical ride with the boys over at FCFC to find out! Enjoy, and remember the earmuffs for the little ones!


    Episode 130 – Déjà Vu All Over Again

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2020 69:25

    In the strangest of seasons, with the oddest of circumstances, amidst incredible adversity and numerous challenges, despite injuries, COVID, trades, international breaks, poor play, impromptu tournaments, and more COVID, LAFC began their third playoff run in their young club’s history. This run would start, and end, against a familiar foe in a familiar spot with an unfamiliar name, as the Seattle Sounders hosted LAFC in the house formerly known as CenturyLink Field, now known as Lumen Field. Seattle has largely been able to avoid both the injury bug and the coronavirus, and, as such, entered the playoffs relatively healthy. LAFC, on the other hand, would be missing five key figures from their 2020 season: Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez, Jose Cifuentes, and Diego Palacios, all of whom we knew would be out with COVID, and, surprisingly, Danny Musovski, also “Not Medically Cleared”. Andy Najar also did not play. Water is also wet. LAFC hoped to exact revenge on Seattle, but, as many of our expectations in 2020, it was not to be. It took just 18 minutes for Seattle to find themselves, as the three-headed monster of Ruidiaz-Morris-Lodeiro connect for the first goal of the match. LAfC looked to equalize just a minute later as Carlos Vela earned a PK. It was not to be however, as, for the first time in his last 19, Stefan Frei was able to make what turned out to be a remarkably easy save. Near misses by both sides bring us to a 1-0 half where both sides may have felt lucky to get into the locker room. LAFC looked to turn things around with a few subs and came out on the attack to start the second half. Mahala, Mohamed El-Munir, and Adrien Perez injected some life into the Black and Gold side as Vela moved to the middle of the attack, but Seattle created better chances en route to an eventual second goal, this one for Ruidiaz off a corner. LAFC found new life as Carlos Vela found a streaking Eduard Atuesta to pull one back, but the momentum lasted all of 3 minutes before that same three-headed monster put the match away behind a goal from Jordan Morris. LAFC had one correctly (barely) waved off via VAR as Seattle killed off the rest of the match to advance, convincingly, 3-1, and continue their title defense. To be the man, you have to beat the man. Tonight, LAFC was beaten by the man, and, just like that, the longest, strangest trip that was the 2020 season comes to an end. Also on this episode, Filly sings while Scarf sings the praises of Angel City FC. We wish a happy birthday to a recently retired member of Black and Gold history, share news of expanding trophy cases for several of our players, and lament the disaster that was the international break for our club. We also celebrate UCLA’s newest Bruin from the LAFC Academy, Lawndale’s own Mauricio Gutierrez while discussing the latest transfer destination for one of our players. Carlos Vela takes home tops honors in kit sales while the Defenders update their Postmates app to order all the finest LAFC threads. So much to talk about, so little time. Finally, we spend the last few moments of our episode thanking you, Defenders Nation, the millions… and millions of the Black and Gold Faithful. We could not and would not be here without you. We’ve got at least three more episodes planned in the 2020 calendar year, including getting ready for CCL against Cruz Azul. Please take a second to listen to the last few minutes, our thank you to you. Take a deep breath. Exhale out all the garbage that was 2020. And until then, see you on Episode 131!

    Episode 129 – A Pair of Boots and a Chance at Revenge!

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2020 55:37

    It’s the final match of the season, and potentially, the final match at Banc of California Stadium in 2020. A familiar foe awaits, as for the fourth time this year, LAFC takes on Portland. On Episode 129, Filly and the Scarf break down all the good and the bad from our tussle with the Timbers! Things got off to a beautiful start, as just 5 minutes in, Carlos Vela, back in the starting lineup, slots one home off a rebound to put the home squad up 1-0. The connections between Diego Rossi, Carlos Vela, and the 16-year old Christian Torres came early and often for the Black and Gold, and it was fun to watch. Rossi found the post and Vela found the crossbar as LAFC head into the half up just one goal. It would be more of the same early in the second, as Rossi found the post again. It was a back and forth affair in the second, with LAFC creating fewer chances and Portland finding more comfort, especially off the foot of Diego Valeri. Kenneth Vermeer came up huge several times but was equaled by his counterpart between the pipes, Steve Clark. Just before stoppage, Portland found the equalizer, as Southern California native Jorge Villafana got on the end of a Diego Valeri pass to make it 1-1. It was a somewhat frustrating, if not oddly poetic, end to LAFC’s regular season. LAFC sit 7th in the table, which means a date with the Sounders in Seattle to kick off the playoffs. Revenge is a dish best served Black and Gold! It’ll be about a 2-week break for Bob and the boys, which should be plenty of time to get ready for Seattle. Diego Rossi ends the season as the youngest Golden Boot winner in league history, and he and Vela become the first teammates to win the boot back-to-back. LAFC also finishes the season as the Best in the West and the Best in MLS at scoring goals, pacing the circuit with 47. Rounding out the episode, we fondly remember Alex Trebek while saying goodbye to the Supporters Shield. This Day in LAFC History celebrates the birth of the first signing in club history while highlighting a goal for Brian (just not one for LAFC). Filly nurses a hangover, Scarf congratulates another expansion team on their playoff berth, and the boys can’t help but feel sorry for Philadelphia as they raise a plastic shield. The Most LAFC Podcast on Earth! Who is Defenders of the Banc? (RIP Alex Trebek)

    Episode 128 – Silver Linings in San Jose

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2020 72:46

    As the strange, long 2020 season winds down, one thing has remained maddeningly crystal clear: LAFC is THE Jekyll and Hyde team of MLS this year. One night, we look like the Supporters Shield winning world-beaters we were for much of 2019. The next, we look slow, out of sync, and disorganized against an inferior opponent. Rinse, repeat, and throw in an injury or three, the coronavirus, and off-the-field issues. That’s our 2020 season in a long-winded nutshell. It was more of the same as LAFC headed to San Jose to take on Matias Almeyda’s Earthquakes squad. LAFC raced out to a somewhat undeserved 1-0 lead on a goal by forward (for this match) Latif Blessing, only to be caught napping on the near post for an own goal by Eduard Atuesta. Later in the half, after several other misses opportunities for the home side, the ageless wonder, Chris Wondolowski netted for the 166th time in his MLS career to put San Jose up a goal heading into the half. To be frank, LAFC was lucky to be down just a goal. Taking off his spectacles and business suit, Carlos Vela emerged from the phone booth looking very much like the cape-wearing goal scorer of 2019. He played with pace, great touch, and, as the kids say, a little wiggle. He looked great. However, despite going down to 10 men, San Jose found another from their maestro, Cristian Espinoza, and LAFC was now chasing two. A late connection from Vela to Rossi made it close, but it was right before the final whistle, and LAFC found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline. This match was not without its silver linings, however. Carlos Vela looked great. Diego Rossi extended his Golden Boot lead to three with just one match remaining. And if anything good can come from this type of a loss, San Jose’s win was Carson’s demise, as the Galaxy won’t be able to taste the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. Also on the episode, the boys get alliterative, Scarf repeats himself on purpose, and Filly makes more fun of Andy Najar. We celebrate an MVP on This Day in LAFC History, we root for the first minutes for one of our Academy products, and we see a light at the end of the CCL tunnel. Or is that just a train? Only time will tell, or maybe Filly and the Scarf will on Episode 129!

    Episode 127 – 3 Seasons, 3 Playoff Appearances!

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2020 74:04

    On Episode 127 of Defenders of the Banc, we have more reasons to celebrate! LAFC begins another winning streak at the expense of Houston while also clinching their 3rd straight trip to the MLS Cup Playoffs! Playoffs? Playoffs? Yeah, we’re talking about playoffs yet again! In a season that has been frustrating, disrupted, disjointed, and at times disappointing, LAFC has righted the ship and is playing their best football at the most important time. Bob has kept the locker room together, despite lineup changes, injuries, and departures, and LAFC is again near the top of the Western Conference. In addition to the breakdown of the 2-1 nail-biter victory over Houston, Filly and the Scarf discuss the first positive COVID test for the Black and Gold, news that broke during tonight’s match. We also touch on the dumpster fire down in Carson, a dream start to Nashville’s MLS tenure, and the retirement of the sandwich pick between LAFC selections in 2018. It wouldn’t be an episode without some Defenders ridiculousness. This Day In LAFC History unfortunately documents the darkest day in our club’s young run. We congratulate fellow podfam member Heart of LAFC and the reigning podfather, Josef Zacher, on their 150th episode while Filly tries to get the hashtag #blamescarf up and running. Filly also writes a poem, more of an ode, really, to Houston and Scarf delivers a hot take on Bob Bradley winning Coach of the Year. This episode really does have everything: Rants with Filly, a very short Scheduling with The Scarf, birthday wishes for a former squad member, and… oh, wait. We forgot our “Wait, What?!” moment again! We’ll try to remember on Episode 128 in just 4 days.

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