Los Angeles Football Club head coach Bob Bradley spoke to reporters on a conference call on Tuesday ahead of the team’s first-ever competitive game, against Seattle Sounders on Sunday afternoon in Seattle.
In a wide-ranging call, Bradley was asked about the injury statuses of several players and he offered updates on the players.
Most notably, star signing Carlos Vela was forced out of LAFC’s final preseason game, last Sunday against Sacramento Republic FC, after the Mexican striker appeared to grab the back of his leg. But Bradley seemed to put fears at ease regarding the player’s status.
“Just a little bit of tightness, and I feel confident that Carlos is ready to go,” Bradley said. “He’s an experienced player and at that point in the last preseason match, and there’s no reason to take any chances. So when he felt a little tight, [he] gave a quick indication and we took him off.”
Walker Zimmerman was a surprise scratch from the Sacramento friendly, and Bradley explained the central defender was held out to ensure he didn’t make a small issue worse, with the implication he will also be ready against Seattle.
“It was also a precautionary move to keep Walker out,” he said. “Same way, just a little bit of tightness that came up in training last week.”
The other two projected starters who have been hurt, Laurent Ciman (MCL knee injury) and Omar Gaber (groin injury), do not sound like they will be ready for the season opener, per Bradley.
“Laurent and Omar are working their way back into training,” Bradley explained. “Both have missed a good part of preseason, so we’ve got to still factor in how to move them back into things, because they haven’t had the same type of base that everybody else has had.”
Finally, on the injury front, Bradley expressed good wishes to Sounders forward Jordan Morris, who tore his ACL last week during a CONCACAF Champions League game in El Salvador, and who will miss the entire 2018 MLS season.
“From everybody at LAFC, we send our best to Jordan Morris,” he said. “Because you hate to see young talented players with injuries, and Jordan has done some great things for Seattle and for the U.S. Men’s National Team and we know he’ll be back and we send him our best.”
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