The Weston Bears have signed a 23-year-old Argentinian midfielder to boost their young squad for the remainder of the season.
Ignacio Giampalo arrived on Thursday and will play with the Bears as soon as they have received an international clearance.
Bears coach Steve Piggott said Giampalo was not clear to play in Tuesday night’s friendly against the Newcastle Jets, but they hoped he would be available for at least three to four games before the season ends.
“He was based in Florida in an academy this year, but he did try out for the Major League Soccer team LA Galaxy. He had a 15-day trial with them in March,” Piggott said.
“He is registered under our PPS (player point system), we got him in before the cut-off date, but until we get the international clearance he can’t play, including the friendly on Tuesday night.
“He has been at training. We hope to get at least three or four games out of him. He is on trial with us, he is a good young lad, he is light built but sharp.
“Let’s hope it all goes well for us and there’s another piece of the puzzle.”
The young Bears could have used Giampolo’s experience in their hard-fought, narrow 3-2 loss to the Maitland Magpies in Saturday’s derby at Rockwell Automation Park.
“It was an improved performance by us. The last month has been pretty ordinary, by my expectations,” Piggott said.
“The guys have been struggling with confidence, but it was a better showing physically against Maitland and we may have turned the corner.
“I was quite impressed by our second half, not so much our first half.
“Give Maitland their credits, they just touched us out in the end.
“We lack experience, you look at Maitland’s side versus ours - there’s a gap as big as the oceans in terms of experience.
“For us to get even close to them is a measure of success for me, even though we probably deserved to get a point out of it.
“They said they won ugly, but there was a reason they played ugly. We were competitive on the day and didn’t give in.”
Maitland striker Josh Dutton-Black swooped in the box to snatch the winner with 15 minutes remaining and complete a brace.
“We probably just deserved to win it,” Magpies coach Phil Dando said.
The Bears pushed the Magpies to the limit. The home side led 1-0 after 15 minutes before the Magpies hit back to lead 2-1 at the break. Weston battled hard and grabbed a deserved equaliser before Dutton-Black sealed the victory.