Los Angeles Football Club officially made another move on Tuesday, picking up defender Laurent Ciman from the Montreal Impact in exchange for Expansion Draft selections Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards. No further assets were exchanged in the deal.
Ciman, 32, joined the Impact ahead of the 2015 season, going on to put in a dominant performance with the club and earn MLS Defender of the Year honors that year. A center back who can play wide, Ciman is a Belgian international and still regularly receives call-ups, so he has a good shot of getting called up for the 2018 World Cup.
“Laurent is a top defender who provides leadership and great distribution,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said in a team statement. “His experience in the league and with the Belgian National Team will be invaluable as we build our club.”
One additional note of context is that Ciman has a child on the autism spectrum, and his initial decision to join the Impact from a successful career in his native Belgium was special care available in Montreal that was apparently superior to what was available elsewhere. As a result, it is unclear if Ciman will be fully on board with moving to an Anglophone city in another country to play or not, although initial reports out of Montreal indicate he was at least unaware the deal was going to go down.
Ciman also retweeted this after the news broke:
Translation: So @LaurentCiman23 was traded in for two players drafted by the LAFC, without the consent of the individual? Where's the respect? @impactmontreal
If Ciman is on board with a move to Los Angeles, then a center back tandem of him and Walker Zimmerman is intriguing, indeed. But we’ll see if this is going to work out all the way or if there will be further convincing to ensure the Belgian joins the 2018 MLS expansion team.
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