Borussia Dortmund to visit LAFC for friendly - sources
Borussia Dortmund will play a friendly against new MLS club LAFC later this year at the Banc of California Stadium, sources at the Bundesliga club have told ESPN FC.
The teams are set to announce the game at a news conference in Los Angeles on Thursday. Sources said the game is intended as a ceremonial opening of the new stadium, though LAFC is scheduled to begin playing MLS games there in April.
Following a visit to Dortmund in late 2017, LAFC and supporters' groups were in favor of playing against the Bundesliga club to officially open the stadium, the sources said.
An exact date for the game against Dortmund has yet to be set, with the German club set to tour the United States for the first time this summer.
The 22,000-capacity Banc Of California stadium is under construction in south Los Angeles. It will feature safe standing in the supporters' section, which will also be the steepest stand in MLS.
The section draws inspiration from Dortmund's famous 25,000-capacity standing wall, the Sudtribune, at their Westfalenstadion in Germany.
The game could be an opportunity for fans to watch United States star Christian Pulisic, who came through the ranks of BVB's youth academy, having previously joined the club as a 16-year-old in early 2015. A year later, he was promoted to the senior team for whom he has since played in 79 competitive matches, scoring 11 goals and setting up a further 14.
Dortmund spent the last few summers in Asia, where the club also opened an office in Singapore in late 2014 to meet the growing interest in the club across the continent.
Dortmund's Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich became the first European club to open an office in the United States in 2014.
Local rivals Schalke have also reached out to fans in the U.S. with a trip to the Florida Cup in 2016, with a grassroots approach through cooperations with college teams, as well as signing talented U.S. youngsters such as Weston McKennie.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.