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Rumor: LAFC pursuing Egyptians Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan, Abdallah Said

Could more Pharoahs join Omar Gaber at the expansion side?

Al Ahly v AS Roma - International Friendly
Said in action for Al Ahly.
Photo by Chris Whiteoak/Getty Images

Just a day after the news that Los Angeles Football Club confirmed the signing of Egypt international Omar Gaber for the 2018 season, comes a new rumor from two sources on two more Egyptian players.

Here’s the tweet. Note that this is a secondhand report, which apparently came from Egyptian TV personality Hany Hathout. I see nothing on Hathout’s Twitter timeline discussing this rumor himself, but Hathout did retweet this tweet, so I think that’s effectively confirmation of what he reported, presumably on TV:

Egyptian news site also reported on LAFC’s rumored interest in Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan on Wednesday. According to them, LAFC head coach Bob Bradley is trying to convince Trezeguet to join the team, but at present the player is weighing his options.

Trezeguet is a 23-year-old attacker, currently playing in Turkey for Kasimpasa on loan from Belgian power Anderlecht. The Al Ahly youth product, who began his career for the Egyptian giant, has also played in Belgium for Mouscron. He’s also an Egyptian international, and while Bradley did not directly coach him while manager of the Egyptian national team, Bradley certainly knew of the youngster as he was coming through the ranks and playing for Egypt’s youth teams.

I couldn’t find another report yet corroborating the Tweet concerning Abdallah Said, although that’s easier said that done sometimes in a different language with a different script. Said is a different kind of player, 32 years old, who has spent his entire career in Egypt, playing for Ismaily and since 2011 for Al Ahly. The attacking midfielder did play for Bradley with the senior national team.

Both Trezeguet and Said helped Egypt qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the country’s first since 1990, alongside Gaber.

Now, the question turns to the veracity of these rumors. While it would seem strange to corner the market on one nationality, Bradley’s extensive experience with Egyptian players, plus the fact that the country produces good players but the overall reputation probably pegs Egyptians in general as underrated means attempting to sign players from there is a risk that makes a lot of sense in MLS terms. Obviously, every player takes to the league and its unique structure differently, but there is a good market argument for the value in Egyptian players overall.

As for the context for each player, it would seem Trezeguet, as a youngish player who’s struggled to find a settled club situation where he could play regularly, would be a perfect candidate for a move to MLS. His story in many respects mirrors that of Gaber, and so if the price is right and the player is willing to move to the U.S. it could represent a chance to find some firm footing in his club game. That all sounds plausible, at least.

Said is a little different, as a player who has never left Egypt and is over 30. That said, LAFC is going to need experience, and while older players from abroad have a spotty track record in MLS, Bradley might see a player who could offer a lot to an expansion team, and probably at a low price, perhaps even sub-TAM level, depending on his contract status.

So the short answer is we’ll see on these rumors. I definitely think they are plausible, but that doesn’t mean they are likely at this stage. If either of these moves happens, we’re sure to hear more about it.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!