Galaxy’s Séga Coulibaly relishing new team and country

Séga Coulibaly was signed by the Galaxy in late April and, after visa issues, arrived in time to watch the club’s last game against San Jose on May 29 from one of luxury suites at Dignity Health Sports Park.

During the recent international break, Coulibaly has finally been able to join the Galaxy in training sessions.

“He’s integrated really well,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said Wednesday. “The guys have really welcomed him, which is no surprise with our group of players. He’s trained well. He’s got great soccer IQ and he understands what he’s trying to do on the field.

“What I’ve been really surprised about is his willingness and eagerness to communicate. His English is OK, better than average for a player moving to a new country for the first time, but he’s been very vocal in that capacity, which is nice to see him feel that comfortable.”

Vanney said Coulilbaly will be available for the club’s June 19 game with Seattle

Coulibaly, who was born in Mali, celebrated his 25th birthday Wednesday and did his media availability in English.

“I’m very happy to be here,” he said. “I feel like I’m at home and I can’t wait to play again.”

Coulibaly signed a two-year contract, with an one-year option. He signed his first professional contract with Rennes in France’s Ligue I. In 2018, he signed a three-year contract with Ligue 2 club AS Nancy.

Coulilbaly said he had options to remain in Europe, but wanted to make the jump to a new challenge.

“I want to see other things. I want to make a big move for myself and improve as a player and as a man,” he said. “I think USA is a country I will like. I want to discover other things.

“It was my choice to come here. I want to discover and grow up as a man and a player.”

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Coulilbaly said he’s a Lakers fan “because of LeBron James” and he’s a hockey fan.

Vanney said Coulilbaly was on the Galaxy’s radar in late 2020.

“I started watching closely, the latter part of December,” Vanney said. “We were able to get some boots on the ground over in France to watch him live. I’ve watched a lot of games of him.

“He played at a club (AS)  Nancy, which was a club I almost went to when I was in France (as a player). He had a lot of qualities that I found intriguing. A lot of them are just his starting points as a center back, his understanding of the position, the sharpness of his movement, things like that.

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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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