Field of View: Interview with Larry Freedman, LAFC Co-President and LA Co-Chair

Interview with LAFC Co-President and Los Angeles World Cup Host Committee Co-Chairman Larry Freedman as Los Angeles approaches two years out from hosting the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) opening match on June 12, 2026

What will the soccer culture in Los Angeles bring to FIFA World Cup 26™? 

Larry: Los Angeles is the fountain whose output of culture and entertainment washes over the whole world. Conversely, Los Angeles—the world’s city—takes in the world’s people and nurtures their ways of life; honors the more than 200 languages that are spoken freely in her city limits. L.A. makes the culture that the world follows, and we have shaped our own local culture out of the beautiful raw materials that Angelenos and their ancestors have brought here from around the world. The evidence lives and breathes in the stands at every LAFC and Angel City home match; at every pregame march our supporters take through L.A.’s streets. The vibes and the faces—this seamless melding of culture, entertainment and sport—they look like football scenes from Sao Paulo or Milan or Seoul, but these are shot on the world’s stage: L.A. 

How will the magnitude of the USMNT opening match deliver tangible impact for Los Angeles region?  

Larry: The FIFA World Cup™ has come a long way since Southern California hosted the competition in 1994. Our digital connections with one another, connections that literally reach into outer space, have empowered Los Angeles in 2026 to reap the benefits of living at the center of the football universe when the most decorated and most competitive roster in USMNT history takes the field at SoFi Stadium. Hosting that opening match is a responsibility that we take seriously—one that will bear fruit across a number of dimensions, from its impacts on L.A.’s communities and local businesses, to the industries that drive our local economy. 

Why does soccer provide the right platform for all backgrounds to come together in LA?  

Larry: Soccer, as entertainment, is pure escapism. If you’re as passionate about it as I am, as our fans at BMO Stadium are, you lose yourself in the match playing out before you. For at least ninety minutes—no matter where you’re from—you and the person next to you share the only background that matters in that moment. A love of this game of 22 people and a ball and two goals. Nothing accomplishes this miracle the way soccer does. And no city in the world provides a better forum. 

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