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“I’d like him to be involved,” Vanney said of Cabral, 21, a product of the Paris St-Germain academy who played the last three seasons with Valenciennes of the French second division. “He’s gone through his quarantine and training with the team. He just needs to sharpen up a little bit.”
Cabral appeared in a career-high 29 games this season with Valenciennes, setting career highs for goals (seven) and assists (four). But he hasn’t played since March 20. Shortly after that he agreed to a five-year deal with the Galaxy that will pay him $1.44 million this year, then spent most of the last two months waiting for his transfer and visa paperwork to be completed.
“I primarily see him on the wing, but he is very capable of playing as a forward. He's done that a fair amount at his previous club,” Vanney said of Cabral, whom he described as a fluid player with game-breaking speed. “It gives us options. We're not going to start the same 10 players or 11 players every single game. We're going to set up in different ways sometimes. So it gives us another very good option.”
If Cabral plays Saturday he will become the sixth player to make his MLS debut for the Galaxy this season. And another is on the way: Defender Séga Coulibaly, who signed with the Galaxy last month, is still waiting approval to leave France.
Coulibaly last played in Ligue 2 on March 20 as well, appearing in 22 matches for Nancy this season. He is the third French player the Galaxy have acquired this winter after Cabral and winger Samuel Grandsir.
“These visa processes are killing me. They're slow,” Vanney said. “[Coulibaly] has the approval. We're working on the appointment. I hope we will see him here early next week. But there's no promises on that.”
With a win Saturday the Galaxy (3-1-0) could take sole possession of second place in the Western Conference standings. Austin (2-2-0), an MLS expansion team, will be making its second trip to Southern California in five weeks, having lost to LAFC in the season opener last month.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.