LAFC rewarded three of its top executives with multiyear contract extensions Friday, re-signing president Tom Penn, general manager John Thorrington and chief business officer Larry Freedman.
The extensions, which include raises, follow a season in which the second-year MLS franchise set a league record with 72 points and got its first trophy by winning the Supporters’ Shield, which goes to the team with the best regular-season record. In three years, LAFC has gone from little more than a concept to the third-most valuable franchise in MLS, with Forbes estimating its worth at $475 million.
“For me, this is more about keeping our executive team together,” said Penn, a co-owner in addition to president who was instrumental in overseeing the construction of Banc of California Stadium, the team’s $350-million home.
Freedman, who came to LAFC from Mandalay Entertainment Group, where he ran the minor league baseball properties, has managed the team’s commercial dealings, including ticket and merchandise sales as well as sponsorship agreements. Earlier this month, he was named MLS executive of the year.
Thorrington, in his first try at assembling a team, built a young, dynamic roster around MVP Carlos Vela, who scored a league-record 34 goals this season. In its first two seasons, LAFC won a Western Conference-best 37 games, momentum the team hopes to carry into next season.
“We just keep climbing,” Penn said. “We’ve just got to get better in every way. There’s major room for improvement in every aspect of our organization.”