Despite Start, Lahoud Not Yet Fully Integrated Into Team

May 19, 2012; Frisco, TX, USA; Philadelphia Union midfielder Michael Lahoud (13) kicks the ball away from FC Dallas defender/midfielder Jackson Goncalves (6) during the first half at FC Dallas Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Given a start shortly after coming to the Philadelphia Union as part of the controversial Danny Califf trade, Michael Lahoud struggled to both make an impact and stay on the field in Dallas.

The former Chivas USA winger was carded once and avoided a second yellow, and a send off, after injuring FC Dallas defender Hernan Pertuz. Other than his two cardable incidences, Lahoud had trouble being noticed during the Union's 1-1 draw.

Union head coach Peter Nowak chalked up Lahoud's first appearance - plus his current attempts to integrate himself into the first team - to a lack of time to prepare himself for Philadelphia's tactics and movement.

"It's just been only three, four days," Nowak said at today's weekly press conference. "He joined us right before we traveled to Dallas. When we start to work on our overall tactics, game, pressure and movement of the ball, he needs to get this through his veins."

Nowak felt that Lahoud was moving toward comprehending the team's gameplan and would soon be set to play at a higher level than he did against Dallas.

"I think he's a very smart guy. We talked today in practice... he's a pretty smart kid and he can understand pretty fast."

Other News and Notes:

  • Gabriel Gomez's knee is too swollen at the moment for him to comfortably practice.
  • Nowak expects Zac MacMath, who has suffered from concussion symptoms, to be available this Saturday against Toronto FC.
  • Chase Harrison's ankle is not broken, but it is "purple" and swollen, according to Nowak.
  • All Union goalkeepers will now practice in helmets to prevent what happened to MacMath.
  • Gabriel Farfan is resuming his training with the team.
  • Carlos Valdes needed nine stitches for his head injury, but has no other complications.
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