LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The expansion Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer continues to fill out its first-team roster, announcing Tuesday that it has acquired Egyptian national team defender and midfielder Omar Gaber on a one-year loan from FC Basel of the Swiss Super League.
The acquisition reunites the 25-year-old Gaber with LAFC coach Bob Bradley, the former coach of the U.S. men’s national team and Egypt’s coach from 2011-13.
“I loved working with all the Egyptian players, and had a great opportunity to get to know Omar during that time,” Bradley said. “He’s always been admired by teammates and fans for his all-around contributions and willingness to give everything on the field.”
Gaber was signed as a “discovery player,” which allows LAFC to pay him using targeted allocation money. This means part of his salary is paid by MLS.
LAFC general manager and executive vice president of soccer operations John Thorrington called Gaber “an incredibly talented player whose pace, athleticism, and ability fit perfectly with the exciting team we are building here at LAFC.”
Gaber has played 18 games for Egypt, including five in its successful campaign to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Cairo native made his debut with Egypt’s Zamalek SC in 2010 as an 18- year-old, scoring 13 goals in 138 games. He moved to FC Basel in 2016, helping it to the Swiss Super League title and the Swiss Cup in the 2016-17 season.
Gaber joins Mexican international Carlos Vela, who was signed in August as the club’s first designated player. The 28-year-old played for Real Sociedad in Spain’s La Liga since 2011.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that LAFC is in advanced talks to bring 19-year-old Uruguayan forward Diego Rossi over as its second designated player. Rossi currently plays for Uruguayan club Penarol.
LAFC will also add to its roster in the Dec. 12 MLS expansion draft.
The club will begin play in March 2018 at the state-of-the-art 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium, the former site of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
It is part of a $250 million entertainment complex in Exposition Park, alongside L.A. Memorial Coliseum, that will also feature restaurants and a soccer museum.
The team’s owners include A-list names such as comedian Will Ferrell, Lakers legend Magic Johnson, private equity billionaire Larry Berg and U.S. soccer star Mia Hamm.
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