When Will Ferrell owns the team you play for, that comes with more than a few perks.
One of them is that you can have one of the most iconic comedy actors of his generation as a guest on your podcast, as LAFC defender Jordan Harvey did on the debut episode of his new show “Shooting the Shot” that he’s hosting with chief business officer Larry Freedman. On the episode, Harvey and Freedman went deep with Ferrell on the root of his soccer fandom and his subsequent foray into LAFC’s ownership group, which started when he struck up a friendship with majority owner Larry Berg on the playground of the school their kids mutually attended.
“We would talk soccer on the playground in the morning at dropoff and we just discovered that we were both fans and just talk about it incidentally,” Ferrell recalled. “And when this was all coalescing, he sent me an email saying give me a call I’m part of something that I think you might really get a kick out of and he explained the whole thing and then went to [fellow owner] Peter [Guber’s] house for a more formal meeting with Tom [Penn] and the whole team.
“And when I saw the model of the stadium, where it was going to be and what they were planning on doing I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna kill. This is gonna be a slam dunk.'”
Ferrell has been a visible ambassador for the club since its 2018 launch as LAFC have become an MLS powerhouse, breaking out in 2019 as the runaway Supporters’ Shield-winners in a record-breaking season. Ferrell’s presence has afforded the LAFC players the chance to meet some other big-name stars that he’s brought around, including fellow actor Matthew McConaughey.
“Everyone from my parents who are in their late 70s to the kids, we have some other family friends who weren’t even into soccer and now it’s their favorite team in L.A.,” Ferrell said. “I’m like ‘Gosh, this stadium could have been 80,000 [seats] and they could’ve filled it.’ Matthew McConaughey reached out to me because he’s part of the ownership for the Austin team so we took him around with his wife and he was blown away. He loved it.”
From the player’s perspective, the Hollywood vibes of the whole operation just add a whole new element to playing for the club, as Harvey touched on during the episode.
“I remember as players we’re in the locker room preparing before the game and you’re trying to stay focused but we absolutely love it when you come down or when you brought Matthew down, Kareem Abdul-Jabar came in pregame, we took a picture,” Harvey said. “It’s just like, not everyone’s from L.A., and I just feel like this with the seats on the ground, everything just kind of exudes Hollywood, but then you have this grit and grind from the fans and the culture that brings it together and it’s all encompassing. It’s amazing.”