Every January, the LA Galaxy staff host an event providing an opportunity for undiscovered players to demonstrate their skills. In 2018, it netted some real-time results. Diedie Traore is the first-ever LA Galaxy player to sign a pro contract through an Open Tryout.
“He went on this marauding run just stride, after stride, after stride, taking players on. I just sat back said, ‘Wow we’ve got a player here,” said Chris Howe. Howe is now in his eleventh year as Manager of Player Development for the Galaxy.
The Path Less Traveled
Traore was born in Bondy, France, and started his career at left-back for the FC Metz U17 Academy. FC Metz has produced notable French talent, including Sadio Mane, Emmanuel Adebayor, Robert Pires, Miralem Pjanic, and Louis Saha. However, Traore moved away from the club in the summer of 2017. He joined FK Utenis Utena at age 18, a second-tier club in Lithuania. Before coming to the Galaxy tryout in January of 2018, Traore also tried out with Malaga CF, a second-tier Spanish club, and FC Girondins de Bordeaux, a first-tier club in France.
“Things didn’t work out. When I had the opportunity to come here, I came,” said Traore. He stayed with his uncle in Los Angeles throughout the Open Tryout process and eventually began playing with the Galaxy Academy at age 19.
Traore played with the Academy team from January 2018 to July 2018 until he signed a contract with the Galaxy’s USL team, Galaxy II, or “Los Dos”. During the 2019 season, Traore played seventeen matches for “Los Dos” and five matches for the first team. After the season, in November of 2019 at age 21, Traore signed a contract with the LA Galaxy’s first team.
The Galaxy spent $175,000 to get the young international, which is twice as much as they spent on the other Galaxy II players, Efrain Alvarez and Julian Araujo, who also signed with the first team. It is clear that coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto and manager Dennis te Kloese believe that Traore has a bright future with the club.
Standing 6’0 feet tall and weighing 180 pounds, Traore is a tall and lengthy defender, but physicality isn’t his strength. He possesses excellent ball control, passing ability and plays with a high level of confidence. While he is an excellent defender, he is also a goal scorer and passer. It isn’t out of the ordinary for him to take the ball from his position on defense and attack in the upper third of the field.
From tryout to triumph.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 6, 2019
If the MLS is Back Tournament revealed anything about the Galaxy, it was a weakness in their backline. Traore came off the bench in the club’s final match of the tournament and was a positive reinforcement. He is slowly becoming less of a dark horse among Galaxy defenders and growing to become an impact player. Fans could definitely see him disrupting plays and attacking defenses in the near future.
Traore is proving to provide some immediate results for the Galaxy. Meanwhile, he represents an example of hope being realized for the countless others who will try follow their professional dreams in his footsteps.
Digital Content Creator. LA Galaxy and Gonzaga Basketball Fanatic.