With rumors swirling around the LA Galaxy and their possible interest in Italian defender Ignazio Abate, Sigi Schmid took the chance to address the current right back situation and calm some expectations for the future.
“There are limitations. The transfer window ended on May 1,” Schmid said when addressing the Abate rumors. “The transfer deadline closed. The only guys you could really pick up at this stage are people that are either unsigned or free or USL players or you have to wait for the (transfer) window in July (July 10 – August 8).”
The Galaxy are currently without a right back as Dave Romney – normally a center back or left back – filled in for the injured Rolf Feltscher in the club’s 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls last Saturday. And, according to Schmid that may be something he’ll continue to have to do.
Feltscher will be absent from the club for the next four months as he recently underwent successful surgery to repair his pectoralis major tendon in his right shoulder. An injury sustained when the Venezuelan National Teamer lost his balance and fell awkwardly going into a tackle during training last week.
“Rolf’s injury, I think, is four months is the back end of the timeline, three months is the optimistic timeline,” Schmid explained. “He could be back in three to four months. The thing with his injury is that when he’s able to move freely, when he’s out of the sling, it’s not like once he’s cleared by the doctors he’s going to need another four weeks to get fit. He’s going to be able to do everything in terms of fitness. It should be a pretty automatic transition.”
“And by the time the window opens in July,” he finished, “he’s (Rolf Feltscher) almost back.”
This would seem to, momentarily at the least, halt any expectation that the Galaxy are in hot pursuit of the 31-year old Abate, despite the fact he’s played with current Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and that the two share the same agent.
Abate, whose current contract runs through June of 2019, is expected to part ways with current club AC Milan at the end of the European season and could be primed for a move in July.
But with Schmid focusing heavily on Feltscher’s recovery, there could be some speculation that Abate was always a replacement for Feltscher and that the timing of the injury is more unfortunate and less about the long-term plan for the position. Meaning fans could see the Galaxy revisit Abate in the summer transfer window if the current situation is untenable.
For now, the Galaxy will rely heavily on Romney – the most experienced backup on the bench – and wait out the injury in hopes of getting Feltscher back much sooner than expected.
Larry Morgan contributed to this report.