A hard-working, efficient, central midfielder, 23-year-old Matías Laba joined Whitecaps FC following one season with Toronto FC in February 2014. The midfielder hails from Villa Raffo, Argentina and made 72 appearances in all competitions over three seasons with Argentina’s Primera División side Argentinos Juniors before coming to MLS in 2013. He was named the Whitecaps FC 2014 Unsung Hero in his first year with the club and then ranked 12th in the MLS 24 under 24 list for 2015. In November 2015, Whitecaps FC re-signed Laba to a multi-year contract extension.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
2015: Laba had a stellar second season with Whitecaps FC, being ranked 12th in the annual MLS 24 under 24 list while leading the league with 152 tackles, 28 more than the next player. Laba also added 84 interceptions, good for fourth among MLS midfielders, while starting 30 matches. On the other end of the pitch, he scored the equalizer in the 1-1 road draw at Portland on July 18, and assisted on the match-winner in the Decision Day win over Houston on October 25. Laba earned an MLS Team of the Week selection after recording five tackles and five interceptions in the 1-0 win at Orlando City in Week 3. 2014: Laba made his debut with Whitecaps FC on March 8 against New York Red Bull at BC Place. He received the start and played the full 90 minutes of the match in a 4-1 victory. Over the season, the destroyer racked up 151 tackles over the course of his 32 regular season appearances, setting a club record. 2013: The midfielder started in all 16 of his appearance and recorded one goal for TFC. He was acquired by Toronto as a Young Designated Player (YDP) and made his debut on May 4 against Colorado Rapids. On August 4, Laba scored the game winner against New England Revolution in the second minute of play after a fantastic run that started from the middle of the pitch.
AMWAY CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
2015: Laba helped the club to its first-ever Voyageurs Cup, scoring the game-winner in added time in the first leg of the ACC semifinal at FC Edmonton. He appeared in three of the four tournament matches, making one start.
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
2015: Laba made two starts for the ‘Caps in the CCL.
2012-13: With Asociación Atlética Argentinos Juniors in Argentina, Laba made 19 starts in 21 appearances before being signed by Toronto FC. 2011-12: In his second Argentine Primera División season, Laba started 26 out of his 27 appearances with Argentinos Juniors. With Argentinos, he made one start in two appearances in the Copa Argentina, and two starts in the South American continental championship, the Copa Sudeamerica. 2010-11: Laba made 11 starts in 14 appearances with Argentinos Juniors. His club also played in both the Copa Sudamerica, where he made three starts in four appearances, and Copa Libertadores, making two starts.
Internationally, the native of Villa Raffo, Argentina represented his country at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia. He appeared in all five of Argentina’s matches, which saw La Albiceleste lose in a shootout in the quarter-finals against Portugal.