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Vanney: Calegari brings versatility to the team

LA Galaxy lost Julián Araujo to Barcelona, but quickly replaced him with Brazilian Lucas Calegari, who has now joined the team in practices.


LA Galaxy acquired Lucas Calegari from Campeonato Brasileiro Série A side Fluminense FC. The move came after losing Julián Araujo to FC Barcelona and leaving LA without a clear starter at right defense. 21-year-old Calegari will be expected to fill in the role.

Calegari joins LA Galaxy practice

LA Galaxy announced the acquisition back in February, but at that time, Calegari was on the MLS U22 Initiative roster waiting for his P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

It’s great to have him here. It’s been a process, as all of these are, to get him here - to get him signed, get him here, and get the visa,” said LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney.

Now that he’s available, he’s practicing with the squad and impressing Vanney.

He’s a wonderful soccer player as an outside back, very well-educated in the position, very smart about his positional play, and getting into good spots and supporting the team when we have the ball.”

Vanney also commented on Calegari’s versatility and how he can be utilized for much more. In Brazil, Calegari played a significant amount of time at left back as well, and is comfortable playing with both his right and left foot, something that will come in handy at any position.

“He has the capacity to get up the sidelines and help build numbers into the attack, and he’s a good crosser of the ball, but he also has more versatility in terms of being able to tuck in and play at an inside position,” said Vanney. “Going from right back into the middle sometimes, and he can even play left back. And a good defender. A very smart defender positionally and reading plays.”

As far as whether or not Calegari will be on the lineup for LA Galaxy’s game against Vancouver on Saturday, it seems unlikely.

“He’ll be available for the game. I don’t know if after one and a half/two training sessions, he’s gonna be ready to start,” said Vanney. “I think that’s asking a lot for a young man, but he could be available and we’ll see how the game plays.”


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