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Official: LAFC sign Egyptian defender Omar Gaber on loan

He’ll likely be a starter on opening day.

Egypt v Netherlands - Toulon Tournament Group A Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

It’s official: Omar Gaber is a Los Angeles Football Club player.

The news was announced on Tuesday, with FC Basel, LAFC and the player himself all announcing the move, which is a loan for one year beginning in January 2018. LAFC said the signing was made with Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) and he was a discovery signing, meaning a player who was on LAFC’s “dibs” list within MLS.

Of course, Gaber announced his arrival in the now-trademark style of LAFC:

Gaber, 25, is a Cairo native who played for Egyptian giants Zamalek professionally from 2010-16 after coming through the youth ranks there. An Egypt international since 2011, he played for his country under new LAFC manager Bob Bradley from 2011-13. He recently helped Egypt qualify for their first World Cup since 1990.

Gaber moved to FC Basel last year, but after getting some playing time in his first season with the Swiss champion, he had fallen down the pecking order under Raphael Wicky (yes, the one-time Chivas USA player) this season.

Gaber plays as a right back as well as a right-sided or defensive midfielder. The positional flexibility is nice, and while it’s unclear where he’ll play for LAFC, one expects he will be in the starting XI on first kick in March (assuming he’s healthy and such).

So that’s a sub-Designated Player deal for a guy that Bradley already knows well and who already has a bit of experience abroad. This is the kind of deal I think many folks were hoping LAFC would strike. It’s important to have a few star players, some vital MLS experience, and a few young players for the future, but one of the areas where teams are really nailing or failing the last two years is in this TAM range. If Gaber and another couple TAM players are signed and take to MLS well, it should help the team in their quest to be competitive from year one of their existence.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!