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LAFC 2022 Player Postmortem: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi

Attacker’s sojourn short with black-and-gold.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Los Angeles FC Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi was an exciting addition to LAFC’s roster in 2022. Fresh off an MLS Cup win with New York City FC, the Libyan attacker seemed like exactly the kind of player who could revive a team needing some energy after a down 2021 season.

But injuries slowed his progress onto the field with the black-and-gold, and with the club going on a spending spree in the summer transfer window, LAFC traded Tajouri-Shradi away before a full season had passed, with that deal facing some controversy in the aftermath.

Here are Tajouri-Shradi’s statistics with LAFC in 2022:

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi LAFC 2022 Statistics

2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 6 0 161 2 0 4 2 0 0
U.S. Open Cup 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 6 0 161 2 0 4 2 0 0

Considering Tajouri-Shradi barely played for LAFC, getting two goals in less than two full games’ worth of action, all appearances off the bench, is pretty impressive. So were both of the goals.

The second is quite possibly LAFC’s Goal of the Year, or at least in the conversation, with an incredible finish from range to beat Sporting Kansas City.

Truly, a bangers only kind of player.

But ITS missed most of the next three months, only coming on for a cameo in July before being traded to the New England Revolution in early August, as a roster crunch with LAFC adding players left and right meant some players needed to exit.

Tajouri-Shradi appeared to be hurt, out of form or carrying a knock the whole time he was with LAFC, even if he still made an impact in his short time with the club. That’s what attracted the Revolution to him, but the player never played a minute for New England in 2022.

It turned out, Revs coach and GM Bruce Arena accused LAFC of selling his team a false bill of goods with ITS, claiming LAFC did not properly disclose an injury that he claimed was “potentially career-ending” before making the trade. LAFC hit back, denying they withheld injury information, telling The Bent Musket: “We categorically disagree with Bruce Arena’s recent comments and stand firmly behind the careful, diligent, and professional work of our medical staff. We are glad that the league is taking this matter with the level of severity it deserves and look forward to the findings of their investigation.”

Meanwhile, Tajouri-Shradi has posted social media showing him working out and getting ready for 2023, while his agent denies his career is ending. The Revolution have declined his contract option for next season, so he’s a free agent.

Truthfully, I don’t know what will come of the league looking into the various allegations. One of the loopholes of MLS is when it comes to trades, teams typically don’t do full physicals with players acquired within the league, as in a single-entity system teams are effectively on an honor system. I would not be shocked if that changes as a result of this situation. And I don’t know if this whole thing was a misunderstanding or one side is overreaching in their allegations or response on the matter, time will tell, I suppose.

I feel bad that Tajouri-Shradi was a roster casualty and didn’t get to celebrate winning a double this year with LAFC. He did his part for the Supporters’ Shield win, and while it’s hard to really analyze his game from this season on a mere 161 minutes of action, he had a winning goal, scored an insurance goal in another win, and did what he could, when he could. Hopefully he can find a good situation for next year, somewhere, get healthy and really ball out. The man deserves it, and he’s a fun player to watch.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.