LAFC manager Bob Bradley 'excited' over Omar Gaber loan from Basel
Los Angeles FC manager Bob Bradley said he's excited about the club's signing of Egypt international defender Omar Gaber to a one-year loan deal from Swiss club FC Basel.
Gaber, 25, was signed via MLS's Discovery Player mechanism, with LAFC utilizing targeted allocation money to reduce the player's hit on the salary budget.
Gaber had recently fallen out of favor at Basel, making just three league and cup appearances this season after appearing 15 times the previous campaign. His past association with Bradley, who coached Gaber when he was in charge of Egypt's national team, played a key role in the player joining LAFC.
Bradley recalled that following the Port Said stadium disaster in February of 2012 and the subsequent suspension of play in the Egyptian Premier League, Gaber, then of Egyptian side Zamalek, was one of several players that Bradley called into a series of training camps as he tried to prepare the team for World Cup qualifying.
"[Gaber] was always one of those players you appreciated," said Bradley in an exclusive interview with ESPN FC. "He's got a great personality, everybody likes him, he can play different positions, he's got great speed, and he's smart. You always enjoyed working with him."
After winning three Egyptian Cups and one Egyptian Premier League title with Zamalek, Gaber moved to Basel in 2016, where he was part of the team that won a league and cup double during that campaign. He has spent time playing centrally in midfield, as well as on the right flank, but Bradley indicated that Gaber pencils in as a right-back for LAFC.
Bradley added that Gaber is still well regarded at Basel, but with the World Cup fast approaching he was intent on finding a place where he could get some playing time.
"In those ways, it was great to work through it and we're very excited to bring [Gaber] to LAFC," said Bradley.
Bradley added that he has spent much of the last six weeks outside the U.S. looking at players, with part of that time spent in Europe. Bradley stated that the team's pursuit of Penarol forward Diego Rossi is still ongoing, and that he hopes to have the deal wrapped up in the next week or two.
"The last details sometimes take the longest [to get done]," said Bradley. "We continue with a number of different players to try to figure out how to make things work, and obviously put a team together.
"For me, I'm excited with some of the different players that we've seen, and what they can bring to a team. Now we're working to get final things squared away with a number of guys.
"[Rossi] is still in that list for sure."
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.