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LAFC Notes: Rossi set to return, Vela still sidelined and Hwan-Kim closer to a debut

After settling for a draw against the Seattle Sounders, the LAFC attack will be getting a boost ahead of the match against the Houston Dynamo with Diego Rossi returning from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the last two games.

“Diego is back and all in so I’m excited that he is ready to get going,”  Bradley told reporters Thursday.

Getting Rossi back will be a plus for the Black and Gold, but all signs point to star forward Carlos Vela missing another week with a knee injury. Head coach Bob Bradley admitted the 2018 MVP has been unable to train for the second week in a row, but he is hopeful that Vela will be able to return to some level of training next week.

More injury updates

In defense, the Black and Gold will have more depth behind Marco Farfan against the Dynamo as Tristan Blackmon is fit enough to travel and Kim Moon-Hwan joined full training this week.

“Tristan has been doing individual training, and the possibility for him to be in the 20 for the game exists,” Bradley said.

Against the Sounders, Moon-Hwan made the bench for the first time after dealing with a knee injury that has bothered him since preseason, but being cleared for full training improves his chances for making a debut against the Dynamo.

“He’s not ready yet to play 90 minutes, but now that we’ve gotten through a full week where he’s in training from start to finish he’ll be part of our 20 and the next step will be opportunities that come,” said Bradley.

Health aside, the challenge for Moon-Hwan is learning how to adapt to the MLS and a new style of play under Bob Bradley after joining from Busan IPark in the offseason.

“It’s different than than teams he’s played on in the past so there’s a learning curve,” Bradley said. “But we feel confident that he’s going to be able to help us.”

The loss of Vela for another week is a big blow for LAFC, but the musical chairs in the front three will have another seat filled when Danny Musovski returns from a hip pointer to face Houston.

In the opener against Austin FC it was a front three of Vela, Musovski and Baird, so Rossi should slot in for Vela and Musovski will regain his spot up top.

Facing the Dynamo

On paper LAFC is the favorite against the Dynamo who have lost their first two games of the season, but the Black and Gold come into their first road match of the season after having just one road victory in the 2019 season.

“I think Houston is an improved team, they’ve added speed on both flanks, with Fafa Picault and Tyler Pasher,” Bradley said. “I think had a very good season last year and they are a skillful team.”

Ahead of their first road match of the season, getting back to their 2018 form when they won seven away matches is a focus for goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega and LAFC.

“We want to win every road game. It’s not oh were going to go out there and see what happens, we’re gonna go out there and try and get a positive result every single match” Sisniega added, “We only had one road win the whole year which is unacceptable. So I think this year you are going to see a switch in our mentality and we’re going to better on the road.”

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