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Will Andre Horta make his debut vs. LA Galaxy?

He’s healthy, and Bradley hints he could play.

Benfica v Setubal: Primeira Liga Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Los Angeles Football Club are gearing up for their second El Trafico clash against the LA Galaxy on Thursday night, the first one to take place at Banc of California Stadium.

In looking at the injury report provided by the team, only third- or fourth-string goalkeeper Quillan Roberts remains on it, so Eduard Atuesta and Andre Horta look to be in contention to play in the rivalry game.

The latter is an especially big deal: Horta is LAFC’s third Designated Player, someone who is expected to do big things for the team, right away and in the future, and he has yet to make his debut, missing the last three games with an issue after becoming eligible to play for his new team.

There is a school of thought that Horta probably won’t play in this game — it’s far too intense to throw a projected star his first minutes in a game of considerable magnitude. On some level, I understand, since nearly all players need some time to get used to their surroundings and throwing a player into a high-profile game isn’t a great idea.

Still, you signed him to play and make a difference, so I hope we at least see some minutes from Horta in this game. Maybe not a start from the jump, but a healthy 20 minutes off the bench, game-state permitting? That makes sense to me.

Above all, the goal is to win the game against the Galaxy, and whether Horta is part of those immediate plans is secondary. Bob Bradley has shown so far this year he’ll take his time, relatively speaking, in bringing newcomers midseason into the fold, like Lee Nguyen and Adama Diomande. Over time, both players showed their worth through tangible production.

Will that happen in this case? LAFC won’t play again until Aug. 5, so it’s possible Bradley could hold Horta back one more game to get him some time with his teammates on the training field.

Bradley did say he was “hopeful” Horta could play in the game, so that’s a pretty characteristic case of playing his cards close to his chest on that count.

While I don’t expect a Zlatan-esque entrance to MLS in an El Trafico game, I would like to see the latest player labeled a difference-maker out there making a difference for the better for the black-and-gold part of Los Angeles.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!