There was a new face at the LAFC Performance Center on Wednesday.
Lee Nguyen trained with his LAFC teammates for the first time following a deadline-day deal to acquire the midfielder from the New England Revolution.
“It came as a shock, but it wasn’t bad news shock,” Nguyen said about learning he’d been traded. “It was one of those things where it was like 11:50 pm, I had already set my alarm to go to training the next day. I was like ‘OK, this trade window is not going to work out.’ But I got the news from [New England head coach] Brad [Friedel] that I got traded and it’s LAFC. So I was ecstatic about that.”
A finalist for the 2014 MLS MVP award, Nguyen spent much of his first day getting to know his new teammates. Between drills at training, the midfielder could be seen speaking at length with head coach Bob Bradley about movements on the pitch and where he’s expected to be in the coach’s setup.
“I’m looking forward to playing,” Nguyen said after his first training session. “Who knows how much of a role I’m going to play this weekend. It’s up to the coach. But I’ve been training, I’m ready to go. I’m just ready to get acclimated with my teammates and get pushing.”
Not yet at training is LAFC’s other signing before the close of the transfer window. Forward Adama Diomandé is not expected until next week, but there are hopes he could be ready for the midweek match against Minnesota United (May 9 at 7pm PT | YouTube TV, UniMás 46), if not by Sunday’s match with NYCFC (May 13 at 5:30pm PT | FS1).
“I’m excited to get him here,” Bradley said of Diomandé. “He brings a lot of really good qualities to a team.”
With four wins from six matches on the road to start the season, LAFC opened Banc of California Stadium with a 1-0 home win over the Seattle Sounders. The Black & Gold remain at home on Saturday as they take on a one-loss FC Dallas team sitting three points behind in the Western Conference Standings.
News & Notes
- Marco Ureña will undergo surgery to repair a facial injury he suffered against Seattle in LAFC’s 1-0 win at Banc of California Stadium. The Costa Rican forward is without a goal this season, but his five assists are at the top of MLS. Bradley described why Ureña is so valuable to the team: “Marco is a player who works for the team every second of every game. He chases, he puts pressure, he makes unselfish runs in the box. Every one of his teammates says over and over that when we’ve had a good start, he’s played a really important role. As you build a team, you need guys that do whatever is necessary to help the guys around them. Marco personifies that.”
- Defender João Moutinho did not train with the team on Thursday. He was a late substitute in the match against Seattle after missing the trip to Montreal with a hip injury. Moutinho has been working off to the side at training. His status for Saturday is not yet known.