Brandon Beck

Chief executive, Riot Games

Age: 35

Title: Co-managing owner

What was your relationship with soccer before joining LAFC?

My relationship with soccer was always a casual one, except during World Cup, which has always been my favorite sporting event. I grew up playing some soccer as a kid, but I was pretty awful. I’ve spent way more time playing FIFA (the video game) than on an actual pitch.

Do you have a favorite soccer memory?

Being in Europe during the ’02 World Cup. I was in France and England. If the national team was playing, it did not matter the time of day – work, school, everything stopped while the entire country united and shared the experience together. We need more of that here.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the franchise in L.A.?

Most Angelenos have never been to a professional soccer match, despite the

fact that we already have a great franchise

in the Galaxy. One of the big challenges

will be to help initiate the uninitiated into

this awesome sport.

Bennett Rosenthal

Partner, co-head, Ares Management

Age: 54 • Title: Co-managing owner

What was your relationship with soccer before joining LAFC?

My relationship with soccer was highlighted by my investment in AS Roma. My real love for soccer, however, came from watching my daughter play, starting in AYSO and then progressing on to the club level with FCLA. I also had some fun times getting crushed by my son at (video game) FIFA.

Do you have a favorite soccer memory?

Going to Rome to see a Champions League match against Real Madrid was the experience of a lifetime. The energy and intensity of the crowd was palpable the entire match, and it was unlike anything I have experienced watching in any other sport.

How are you best suited to contribute to the club?

As a private equity investor, I have seen the best and worst of how organizations can succeed and fail. I hopefully bring a financial expertise as well as a perspective of how to build a world-class organization.

Ruben Gnanalingam

Chief executive, Westports Malaysia

Co-chairman, Queens Park Rangers

Age: 40 • Title: Co-owner, director

Why did you get involved with LAFC?

I love L.A.! My family does, too, so it just made sense to get involved.

Do you have a favorite soccer memory?

Qualifying with Queens Park Rangers for the English Premier League in 2014 via

the championship playoffs. It was amazing, as it was against all the odds for us that season.

How are you best suited to contribute to the club?

I bring my experience of running a British football club and my good looks.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the franchise in L.A.?

The challenge really is the crowded market, but I believe that the momentum of the growth of soccer in the U.S. is just so strong now that we should easily achieve our goals. 

Peter Guber

Chairman, chief executive, Mandalay Entertainment Group

Co-executive chairman,

Golden State Warriors

Co-owner, Los Angeles Dodgers

Age: 75 • Title: Executive chairman, co-owner

Why did you get involved with LAFC?

I look at myself as a person that connects artists and audiences. It was a natural transition as I moved into baseball, basketball and hockey. There is a very small overlap between the audience from basketball and soccer.

Do you have a favorite soccer memory?

My first memory of soccer was playing goalie in high school. I was a goalie in hockey and someone said, “Why don’t you try soccer?” The ball comes so much slower than a puck, but the net was so much bigger. I was fascinated by that. I didn’t embrace soccer again until the last couple of years.

How are you best suited to contribute to the club?

I have a great deal of experience building stadiums. We set out to build a new venue on a main street in downtown Los Angeles. It’s a challenge fraught with peril.

Tom Penn

President, Sports Leadership Institute

ESPN NBA analyst

Age: 49 • Title: President, co-owner

Why did you get involved with LAFC?

I attended a lot of Portland Timbers matches. That experience created the goal and vision to replicate that in L.A. if possible. I

got to know a lot of MLS executives through my sports summit business. I was shocked and impressed at how good they were as team operators.

Do you have a favorite soccer memory?

In the summer of 2010, I went with my kids to a Portland Timbers game. The Timbers army was roaring the whole game, singing and standing the whole time. My kids thought it was amazing and they bought $100 worth of gear each. It was my enlightened moment about what soccer means in America in so many marketplaces.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the franchise in L.A.?

The world of global football has been fascinated by the idea of a soccer startup in a major city. Our biggest challenge is to authentically deliver an experience worthy of the passion of our fans. So much of this community loves this sport first and only.

– Compiled by David Nusbaum

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