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Giuseppe Rossi's connection with Bob Bradley leads to LAFC training invite

Giuseppe Rossi's connection with Bob Bradley leads to LAFC training invite
Fiorentina's Giuseppe Rossi, left, kicks the ball during a Europa League match against Belenenses in Florence, Italy in Dec. 2015. (Fabrizio Giovannozzi / Associated Press)

LAFC coach Bob Bradley has a fondness for calling up players from his past and Wednesday he welcomed another when former Italian international Giuseppe Rossi began training with his MLS team at Cal State L.A.

Rossi was born in New Jersey the same year as Bradley’s son Michael and the two attended soccer camps together when they were growing up. But the coach was uncertain how long the reunion would last.

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“He called me and he was still trying to figure out the next chapter in his career,” Bradley said of Rossi, 32, who left the U.S. for the youth team of Italian club Parma when he was 12. “The only way you can do it is to have a few days around here and then get a picture of what he’s doing, how he’s playing, how he’s fitting in and for him to see what’s going on.”

Last season, LAFC’s first in MLS, Bradley signed Norwegian forward Adama Diomande, Brazilian defender Danilo Silva and Egyptian winger Omar Gaber, all of whom had played for Bradley at previous coaching stops. His staff includes Ante Razov, Kenny Arena and Zak Abdel, all of whom have played or coached with Bradley.

Rossi, whose parents are Italian, spent four years in Parma’s youth program before making his senior debut with Manchester United in 2004. He then bounced among seven teams in three countries between 2007-2018. He also made 30 appearances for the Italian national team.

His best season came in 2010-11 when he scored 32 times in 56 games in all competition for Villarreal. He spent last year with Genoa but hasn’t played since testing positive for dorzolamide, a banned substance, last May. Last month he started training at Manchester United before being invited to LAFC this week.

“Giuseppe has had amazing ups and tough downs,” Bradley said of Rossi. “He has to see what it looks like here every day. He may walk out of training today and say ‘Yeech, that was the worst training session I’ve ever been a part of and I’m looking for something else.’

“He’s got to feel it. What kind of culture do we have? How do we all get along? How do we talk? Is it professional? Is it fun? Is it serious? He’s got to see all that. And then we’ve got to see where he is as a player.”

LAFC did commit to one player Wednesday when it signed midfielder Alejandro Guido from Tijuana of Mexico’s Liga MX.

“Alejandro has all the attributes to succeed in this league and we believe he will have an immediate impact,” general manager John Thorrington said in a statement.

Guido, 24, who attended Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, spent the last seven years with Tijuana. He also played internationally for U.S. age-group teams at the U-17, U-18, U-20 and U-23 levels.

The Galaxy, meanwhile, announced they have come to contract terms with midfielder Emil Cuello, the 19th overall pick in last month’s MLS SuperDraft.

Cuello, 22, an Argentine native, joins the Galaxy after spending four years at Southern Methodist University, where he made 72 appearances, scoring 12 goals and adding 17 assists. Terms of the contract were not announced.

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