179 episodes

Christian "Filly" Filimon and "The Scarf" J.R. Lebert talk all things LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club), Los Angeles' MLS soccer club. Hear original content, player, personnel, and fan interviews, team news, game breakdowns, supporters group chats, and so much more about LAFC. This podcast is BLACK and GOLD!

Defenders of the Banc - The LAFC Podcast J.R. Lebert & Christian Filimon

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Christian "Filly" Filimon and "The Scarf" J.R. Lebert talk all things LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club), Los Angeles' MLS soccer club. Hear original content, player, personnel, and fan interviews, team news, game breakdowns, supporters group chats, and so much more about LAFC. This podcast is BLACK and GOLD!

    Episode 178 - Weeeeeeee’re Baaaaaaaack! (Goodbye 2021)

    Episode 178 - Weeeeeeee’re Baaaaaaaack! (Goodbye 2021)

    For the final time in 2021, the boys are at World Famous Filimonster Studios to record an episode of “The Most LAFC Podcast on Earth”, Defenders of the Banc! There is SO much news to discuss since our pasting at the hands of the Commerce City Rapids, and Filly and Scarf try to get to ALL of it! 
    This offseason saw, without a doubt, the most significant player movement of any of our first four seasons. El Profe, Eduard Atuesta, is gone, and not to a club that many could have predicted. Eduard gets to try to make it a Copa Libertadores three-peat for Brazil’s Palmeiras. Also gone is the only coach we have ever known, Bob Bradley, as he heads north of the border to drink Labatt’s and coach his son, Michael, at Toronto. He’s been given the keys to the kingdom, eh, as he was named both head gaffer and Sporting Director at TFC. 
    Also gone is an unsung hero who truly has been there from the beginning, Defender of the Banc Tristan Blackmon. Picked with our second ever SuperDraft pick in 2018, Tristan leaves behind a legacy of grit, toughness, and a fun social media follow. Who will play keeper? With Jamal Blackman being given his walking papers and Pablo Sisniega traded to the new Al Raitt FC, Charlotte, Tomas Romero is the only keeper under contract as of the recording of Episode 178. Also gone, as of now, are Raheem Edwards, Jordan Harvey, Daniel Crisostomo, Alvaro Quezada, and Michee Ngalina. 
    LAFC has also begun to re-tool, or “tweak”, as JT put it, by bringing in two players with bona fide MLS Cup experience. The newest Defender of the Banc, Franco Escobar, comes to us by way of Atlanta United, where he scored the second goal in their 2-0 MLS Cup win over Portland in 2018. The Argentinian looks to help the Black and Gold on the wings. Fresh off winning MLS Cup with NYCFC in 2021, then being drafted by Charlotte in the Expansion Draft, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi lands with LAFC by way of a trade with MLS’s newest club. In the mold of a Danny Musovski-type, or, dare we say, Adama Diomande, Israel knows how to put the ball in the back of the net and provides much-needed depth when Chicho, Rayito, or Vela are off the pitch.      
    And don’t forget, Defenders… we also get a full season of Chicho Arango, a healthy Eddie Segura, and (at least) a full half-season of a healthy Carlos Vela. (We explain, don’t worry.) All we need now is a head coach. And a starting center midfielder. And a starting keeper. And a little more depth. 
    Also on this episode, we celebrate Chicho Arango taking home the Newcomer of the Year Award for 2021, the U19’s as they advance in Open Cup Qualifying, and Lee Nguyen’s NWSL trophy! We get a new toy in Filimonster Studios, we circle some key dates on the calendar that we are looking forward to, and Scarf doesn’t have Covid (according to two tests) even though he feels and sounds like death. Which inaugural team player signed to coach with Sister Jean over at Loyola-Chicago? How is Diego Rossi doing in Turkey or Christian Ramirez in Scotland? And why does Filly now have a vested interest in our eMLS player? You’ll have to listen to find out!
    Finally, stick around for the end, please. We know it’s long, but Filly and Scarf both chat about their New Year’s Resolutions, or as Filly says, goals for 2022. This may be it for 2021, but we can’t wait to experience what’s in store for 2022! 
    Defenders Nation, thank you, and we love you! Here’s to all the best in 2022 to the millions… and millions! 

    • 1 hr 43 min
    Episode 177 - Mile High Meltdown

    Episode 177 - Mile High Meltdown

    Well, Defenders... it finally happened. After a full season of rising above and falling below the playoff line, injuries, poor performances and matches that re-ignited our hope, the nail was finally driven into the coffin of the 2021 season. Needing a win and some help on Decision Day, LAFC got neither. The Colorado Rapids take the Western Conference title and LAFC's playoff hopes in an emphatic 5-2 win a mile high in Commerce City, Colorado. 

    LAFC fell behind early and often, as Jonathan Lewis had a brace and Collen Warner became the 18th different Rapid to score this season, all before LAFC could muster a goal. Down 3-0, Chicho ignited a faint glimmer of hope, only to see it extinguished quickly by Diego Rubio. Now down 4-1, Brian, yes, Brian pulled one more back. It was former Black and Gold backliner Steven Beitashour who helped seal our fate with a beautiful cross to Dominique Badji, who had just subbed on for Mark-Anthony Kaye, and that was that. 5-2 Colorado, and LAFC is left with far more questions than answers. 

    A huge thank you to our friends over at 110 Football for allowing us to accompany them to Denver. We are so very appreciative to be able to be there in Commerce City to be able to support our boys, and to hear The 3252 in their full-throated awesomeness. We've got a few more episodes planned to wrap up the 2021 season, and we have a ton of interviews and other fun things on board for the offseason. While we hate that it's over, we are really looking forward to all the fun that Season 5 of Defenders of the Banc has in store. Thank YOU, Defenders Nation, for all the support, and we will see you in a week for Episode 178.

    • 1 hr
    Episode 176 - Not Dead Yet!

    Episode 176 - Not Dead Yet!

    For the final time in the regular season in 2021, LAFC took the pitch at the Cathedral of the Black and Gold, Banc of California Stadium. In what was as close to a must-win match as we have played in a year, LAFC took on the white-hot Whitecaps with their playoff lives on the line, and… despite a 1-1 draw, LAFC is not dead yet. 
    LAFC got off to a nightmarish start, allowing a goal at the 15’ mark off a pass from Brian White to Cristian Dajome. Instead of giving in and giving up, LAFC took control of the match, mustering chance after chance en route to finally cracking the Vancouver defense during first half stoppage time. A ball that pinballed around the box found its way off of Vancouver defender Florian Jungwirth over to wunderkind Mamadou Fall, who taps it in from mere inches to level the match and give LAFC and the entire chorus of the faithful at the Banc a much-needed boost. 
    In the second half, LAFC took control, again earning most of the quality chances. But LAFC’s chances all went begging, especially a whisker-thin miss by Chicho Arango at the death to keep it a 1-1 final. LAFC now no longer controls their playoff destiny and will look to get help from Sporting KC, Seattle, Minnesota, and heck, maybe even Carson on Decision Day 2021. But none of it will matter unless LAFC takes all three points from Colorado. 
    Also on this episode, Scarf gets a migraine, Filly wishes he could be aboard the Titanic, and the boys go in on idiots in the South End chanting a particular word. Congrats to the Atuestas on welcoming Matias into the family! With just one regular season match remaining on the schedule, there’s still a chance, Defenders! We just need a little help from our “friends”. 

    • 1 hr 38 min
    Episode 175 - Soundly Beating Seattle To Extend The Season

    Episode 175 - Soundly Beating Seattle To Extend The Season

    Episode 175 - Soundly Beating Seattle To Extend the Season
    LAFC, for the moment, is above the playoff line! Yes, it may just be for a night, but LAFC, riding a 5-game unbeaten streak, is finally back above the line. The Black and Gold put a beatdown on the West’s #1 and our biggest nemesis, the Seattle Sounders, taking all three points and scoring three huge goals. It’s a great Tuesday at the Banc, and you can hear all about it on Episode 175 of Defenders of the Banc!
    Brian Rodriguez, yes, Brian, opened the scoring for LAFC with a great shot that went 5-hole on Stefan Frei. Not content to go into the half up just one goal, Latif Blessing got on the end of a Kim Moon-Hwan pass and doubled the lead!
    Seattle would come out swinging in the second half, with both the crossbar and Jamal Blackman needing to make a save early, but LAFC would settle down nicely. In the 51’, Filly’s favorite striker, Chicho, Chicho Arango, would net his lucky 13th goal on the season, putting the good guys up three and salting the game away. 
    As if three goals and a beatdown of Seattle wasn’t enough good vibes for one Tuesday, to quote Rafiki in The Lion King, “The king has returned!” For the first time in months, Carlos Vela took the pitch in an MLS match, coming on in the 78th minute to see out the win. LAFC brought on the closer, Jordan Harvey, in the 90th, and the party at the Banc was on!
    Also on this episode, we celebrate the career of Carli Lloyd and the early season successes of the Lakers and Knicks while completely forgetting about Game 1 of the World Series. Why is Filly picking on Scarf? How did Panda get Super Bowl tickets? And who was Scarf profusely apologizing to? You’ll have to listen to Episode 175 to find out! 

    • 1 hr
    Episode 174 - Drawing Out Our Season

    Episode 174 - Drawing Out Our Season

    Defenders, the regular season is slowly coming to a close, but our beloved Black and Gold have not yet given up their fight for a playoff spot. LAFC headed out to Allianz Field in Minnesota to take on the Loons, and you can hear all about it here on Episode 174 of Defenders of the Banc!

    Despite being outplayed, and outplayed badly, through the first half-hour, LAFC were the first on the board thanks to our old friend, Tyler Miller. A curving free kick by Chicho, Chicho Arango (more on that below) found its way through the wall and, somehow, through the legs of our former keeper, to put LAFC up, 1-0. It stayed that way until the second half, when Minnesota was able to capitalize on a free kick of their own. Ozzie Alonso puts in the rebound for the equalizer, and LAFC leaves two of three points in Minnesota. It's a draw, 1-1, and, improbably, LAFC's playoff chances are still alive and kicking. 

    The draw could be costly, however, as Kim Moon-Hwan left the game at halftime after receiving five stitches above his eye after colliding with the head referee. Yes, it's been that kind of season. LAFC will also be without the services of Jose Cifuentes for the next match due to yellow card accumulation. Couple that with the injuries to Atuesta and Ginella, and it's going to be a very thin midfield as the boys head back to the Banc to take on Seattle in just 72 hours. Yikes!

    Also on this episode, the boys (and Nina and Panda) head out to Premier League Mornings at the Coliseum. Spoiler alert: it was awesome! Panda wins airline miles, Scarf wins a jersey, and Filly meets his hall pass, Rebecca Lowe! We talk Dodgers, baby showers, and rum punch at 6:00 am. 

    However, Defenders, the real treat lies at the end of this episode. Please... please stick around for the final 5 minutes or so to hear the world premiere of Filly's "Chicho Arango Song". We can promise you it's worth it, but we can't tell you when it'll be out of your head. Enjoy Episode 174!

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Episode 173 - Chicho Saves Our Season

    Episode 173 - Chicho Saves Our Season

    Episode 173 - Chicho Saves Our Season
    LAFC still has a pulse, thanks to the incredible efforts of our newest talisman, Mr. Automatic from the spot, Christian “Chicho” Arango! It’s Episode 173, and we are breaking down all the Fun in Frisco, as LAFC took out FC Dallas, 3-2, behind a hat trick from Chicho!
    Make no mistake about it, LAFC came out looking lethargic and lost. Despite an early chance from Rayito, the first 25 minutes were all FC Dallas. The team owning the second-worst record in the conference found themselves down 1-0 after just ten minutes. Despite an equalizer from Chicho off a PK earned by fan-favorite Raheem Edwards in the 30’, LAFC continued their Jekyll and Hyde act of 2021, giving up another goal right before half to go down 2-1. 
    A halftime speech from Bob and a couple of smart subs lifted LAFC from the doldrums, as Chicho found the net twice more, this time in a span of 5 minutes, to give LAFC the lead, the win, and all three points!
    LAFC is still very much alive in the playoff chase, just 3 points under the line with 4 to play. Though we will need every point from here on out, there is absolutely no doubt Chicho has saved our season… for now. 
    Also on this episode… lots and lots of Filly Manilow’s Chicho Arongo song! Enjoy Episode 173, and please welcome us back into your AirPods in just a few days for the recap of our journey to Minnesota!

    • 1 hr 7 min

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