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Diego Rossi misses Uruguay roster, but LAFC did not stand in his way

Disappointing to miss out, but he won’t miss time for black-and-gold.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Uruguay released the final 23-man roster for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Ecuador, and only one Los Angeles Football Club player was on this time.

Brian Rodriguez made the cut once again, but his club teammate Diego Rossi, who appeared set to make his senior team debut for his country, was left out of the final roster after making the preliminary roster a couple weeks ago.

Normally, this would be a standard story of a national team coach making a decision, but with considerable confusion sewn for the October FIFA window regarding whether MLS teams have to release players or not due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was initially unclear if LAFC perhaps asked Uruguay not to call up Rossi this time, with the forward the club’s best player and any call-ups this month likely to miss quite a few games.

But LAFC have consistently been a club that encourage national team call-ups, and head coach Bob Bradley set the record straight when initially asked Friday if the club asked the country not to call up Rossi.

“Time out, that’s not true,” Bradley told reporters during pregame availability. “We’ve supported all of our players. The federations are making their decisions based upon their objectives, their evaluations. We are very proud Diego was included in the 30-man squad for the first time. We all spoke to him this morning and we’re disappointed for him, because he’s worked hard and this is something that’s important to him. But none of our conversations, whether it’s been with Uruguay or Ecuador, has been to try to change their mind on anything. We’ve supported our players. In order to develop players, set goals, opportunities with national teams are really important.”

It appears LAFC are planning for three players to miss time on international duty, with Ecuadorian duo Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios potentially headed out as well. Bradley admitted he had not seen a 23-man roster for Ecuador as of Friday morning and was unsure if Cifuentes, Palacios or both players would head out, although he did say he expects the call-ups will likely depart the United States following Sunday’s game against Real Salt Lake in Utah.

The South American call-ups will miss at least three LAFC games and perhaps five down the stretch, assuming they stay healthy and everything. When asked about the absence of Rodriguez during a critical point in the season, Bradley said he is looking for the player to perform for club and country when called upon.

“In terms of Brian, whenever a player’s leaving on international duty, you want him to go and do well and be ready that when it’s finished that he can come back here and be ready to jump back into things and make a strong impact. And that’s going to be in important games for us. That’s the responsibility when a player leaves for international duty.”

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