El Trafico is around the corner, this time in a brand-new venue, as Los Angeles Football Club and the LA Galaxy will face off Saturday night in Orlando as part of the MLS is Back Tournament.
With one game under their belts in the tournament, a 3-3 draw against the Houston Dynamo Monday, LAFC have 90 minutes of game action but injuries are always a concern. During his pregame media availability with reporters Thursday, LAFC head coach Bob Bradley provided updates for three players injured in the opening game or missing from the opener.
Adama Diomande came off the bench in the second half, but the forward was forced out himself after just 17 minutes of action, with concerns he may have re-injured the foot that he broke in preseason.
Bradley offered good news on Dio, but the Norwegian’s status is uncertain for the Galaxy game.
“He’s had an MRI, there’s nothing major,” Bradley said. “He felt a little something in his foot. But we’re hopeful he’s going to be back into training in the coming days. I’m not sure what that means for the game against the Galaxy.”
One player who was not available on the matchday squad was another forward, Adrien Perez. He sounds unlikely to be ready, per Bradley.
“Adrien’s still nursing a little bit of a hamstring that was bothering him when we arrived and he is still not in full training,” he said.
Meanwhile, many fans are excited to see new signing Andy Najar in action, but Bradley said the defender/winger, coming back from a knee injury suffered with former club Anderlecht, is not in full training and won’t be rushed into action in Orlando.
“He’s in parts of training, and we’re hopeful,” Bradley explained. “But we’re also going to be conservative with Andy given how long it’s been since he played a match. We’re very excited with what we see, but obviously when you think of the steps before you typically get back on the field, participating in full training sessions for some period of time becomes really important. He’s making progress, he’s a fantastic guy. I think he fits in really well with our ideas, and now we’re just trying to move him along at a speed that makes sense, that considers how long he’s been out, but also takes into account that we know he’s a player that will really fit in and help us.”
So it sounds like none of the three are likely to be involved Saturday. Expect Bradley Wright-Phillips to get more run as central striker with Dio, Perez and Carlos Vela all out, and perhaps we’ll see the return of Latif Blessing to the forward line, or more run from Danny Musovski in the big El Trafico. Stay tuned.
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