LAFC didn’t get a ton of time to savor their season-opening 2-0 win over Austin FC last weekend, as they have a big test in Week 2, against the Seattle Sounders at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
No surprise, especially given the opponent, that one of the hot topics for reporters during media availability with LAFC on Thursday was the injury status of star attackers Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi.
“Carlos has not been in full training this week. Diego has trained but I’m not sure that he’s quite yet 100%,” head coach Bob Bradley said when asked about the players’ status.
Vela lasted barely 20 minutes in the season opener, and the talk after the game was the quick sub Bradley used to take the superstar out, apparently against the player’s wishes. But immediately after the game, Bradley defended the move by saying Vela may have a legitimate injury, and so it appears to be.
“It feels weird the way the injuries have come, because we’ve been pretty healthy training has been really good,” said Bradley. “Getting the play with Carlos is early in the game. And he’s just reaching and stretching out for a ball, it’s not an injury that comes because late in the game he’s pushing it and there’s some fatigue, so we’re a little bit frustrated that we’ve taken some of these injuries in those ways.”
Rossi missed the entire game against Austin with a hamstring injury. Rossi has been remarkably durable up to this point in his LAFC tenure, only missing a handful of games for any reason across three-plus seasons to date.
As for their status for the game Saturday? Bradley didn’t rule out either player, necessarily, from featuring.
“I would say, Carlos, probably, and Diego are probably still questionable,” he said.
In other injury news, newcomer Kim Moon-hwan is both working back from a knee issue and getting his fitness up after a long layoff, and Bradley said the South Korean international may
“Moon is not ready to play a lot of minutes,” said Bradley “We just have to decide whether or not we think he’s ready to give us a few minutes in a given situation. So, is we have to still discuss whether or not he’s on the bench. That’s a different kind of discussion than the ones that we would have regarding Diego and Carlos.”
“Moon in training, still, at times, being adjusted which means that we play five five-minute games to finish off training. He might play in three of them. So it’s all a build-up with him. Getting closer to being able to give us something, but still a decision as to whether that’s happening this week. We feel good always about pushing the team and having guys ready when opportunities present themselves,” Bradley added.
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