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The South Korean soul of Los Angeles Football Club

The Californian team has created a strong bond with the minorities in the city

The South Korean soul of Los Angeles Football Club The Californian team has created a strong bond with the minorities in the city

To epresent the "other Los Angeles" in terms of football is not as simple as it seems. The city is home to people from more than 140 countries speaking more than 220 different identified languages and for this reason it can be considered socially and culturally heterogeneous.

LAFC (acronym that stands for Los Angeles Football Club, established in 2014) found a group of potential supporters in some of these ethnic minorities, who are less attracted by Los Angeles Galaxy, traditionally linked to the WASP (White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant) Los Angeles middle-class. LAFC encourages multiculturalism, which is not confined to the Mexican community (predominant in the city and well symbolized by the star Carlos Vela). Within a few years, Los Angeles’ second team embraced therefore many other minorities in the city, such as the Koreans living in Koreatown.


One of the results of this bond between the ethnic communites and the club is the 'HANGEUL Merchandise Collection' presented by LAFC in collaboration with Ho-keun Choi, the football art director of H9PITCH STUDIO, a sports design agency in Korea. A total of six products have been released in this collection, including short-sleeved, long-sleeved and hooded t-shirts. Founded on the bond between club and community, LAFC announced that this project is being carried out for Korean fans in Los Angeles, who make up a large portion of the club's fans. 

An active member of this ethnically different fanbase is Raymond An, who achieved a fair amount of popularity during the 2018 World Cup thanks to his original initiative. Last year, Raymond recreated the Korean flag made up of sewd jerseys of all the nations of the World Cup in Russia under the hashtag "#FOLLOWTHEFLAG" that went viral. This year, Raynaldinho - nickname adopted by Raymond on Instagram - created another flag, this time using only LAFC jerseys.  

The purpose of Raymond's latest creation, launched with the new hashtag '#MORETHANAFLAG',  was to shed light on TSG (Tiger Supporters Group) of LAFC, one of the official supporters group recognized by the Club and part of the 3252 (the Independent Supporters Union of the Los Angeles Football Club which encompasses a growing number of affiliate supporter groups and independent supporters with active season memberships). TSG is based in Koreatown and the first supporters group in MLS to highlight and celebrate Koreans and the Korean culture. Tigers Supporters Group was born out of Koreatown’s collective, communal World Cup experiences and it's not one of the 3252’s larger groups, nor one of the older ones. TSG joined the 3252 with the will to get in touch with other cultures and to fit in with other supporting groups.