OPINION: Why Omar Gaber’s move to LAFC was the best choice
MLS. Three letters that bring skepticism to most football fans. A relatively new league without a promotion/relegation system and odd structures called the draft and playoffs, the MLS has long been criticized by media abroad. But Gaber’s move to 2018 expansion side LAFC may prove to be the spark he needs to be a serious contender for Russia 2018.
He’s going to play
Whether in defense or in midfield, Gaber will play. By the time the full squad is created, he will be one of the players with the most experience playing abroad and with his national team. He’s being coached by someone who full-heartedly believes in his capabilities and will know how to use them to the team’s advantage. Plus with over 30 games to be played next season, he’s guaranteed playing time for the new Los Angeles side.
The coach is his biggest fan
Omar Gaber previously played under Bradley for the Egypt national team. Bradley was also a big supporter of Gaber’s initial move to FC Basel, citing his motivation to improve himself as well as his English. Move forward a year and a half, and Bradley has brought Gaber to LAFC. Bradley has been seeking a way to sign Gaber since he became coach back in July of this year, going as far as claiming Gaber as a discovery player. As such, LAFC had MLS dibs on Gaber meaning no other MLS side could sign him without permission from LAFC, a clear indication of how much Bradley wanted him in LA.
A new challenge
MLS won’t be an easy experience for Gaber. He’ll come up against the best players in the league, like Toronto hitman Giovinco, Iraqi striker Justin Meram, and former FC Barcelona striker David Villa. He’ll come up against great masterminds of the game like Patrick Vieira and Gerardo Martino. But most importantly, he’ll play in some of the most electrifying environments in soccer. On the West Coast alone, Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers are known for the fan bases. 2017 expansion side Atlanta United shocked the league with not only their quality but the passion in the city. Gaber will play in a LA derby against L.A. Galaxy and another California derby against San Jose Earthquakes. Playing in these environments would be lost if he had returned to Egypt, where fans are still not allowed to attend games.
With Ahmed Fathi and Ahmed Elmohamady both closer to the end of their career than the beginning, the national team must start to look for a replacement. A player who will be consistent and have the flexibility of playing in multiple positions. Omar Gaber can be the man for the job and the move to LAFC is the start of the journey.
What are your thoughts? Is moving to LAFC the right move for Gaber. Comment below!
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