Montreal Impact's Laurent Ciman 'shocked' by LAFC move - agent
Laurent Ciman was "shocked" to learn he had been traded to Los Angeles FC by the Montreal Impact on Tuesday, after expecting to see out his MLS career in Quebec, his agent has said.
Belgium international Ciman, 32, will swap Canada for California for the forthcoming MLS campaign with LAFC"s expansion draft picks Raheem Edwards and Jukka Raitala moving in the opposite direction.
Ciman, who joined from Standard Liege on a three-year deal in 2015, recently had a house built in Montreal. He was informed of the trade when he spoke to agent Jean Russo.
"That chat was a real kick in the teeth," Russo told 91.9 Sports."Laurent and [his wife] Diana were shocked -- they didn't sleep the whole night.
"His first reaction, in the heat of the moment, was: 'We let everything go!' That's why he didn't want to speak to the media immediately.
"After a night's sleep, he said to himself that he would keep the house and come back here."
Russo said the Impact's decision had left Ciman rushing to find a suitable solution for his autistic daughter, Nina, with a month remaining until Los Angeles FC, coached by Bob Bradley, begin preseason training.
"It happens in sport, but the club could have informed us so we could find installations for Nina, a house, et cetera," the agent said.
"We only have a month now. Words fly around, but only what is written down remains. From now on, I won't trust anyone. There was a verbal understanding that Laurent would spend his whole MLS career at Montreal Impact."
But Russo added that there was "a great challenge with Bob Bradley," and backed Ciman to play at the same level that earned him MLS defender of the year honors two years ago.
"Laurent has to go there to become the defender he was in 2015," Russo said. "With such a coach, it's more than possible."
Ciman helped Belgium qualify for next year's World Cup, and joins an LAFC squad already loaded with notable internationals, including Mexico forward Carlos Vela, Egypt defender Omar Gaber, U.S. defender Walker Zimmerman and Costa Rica striker Marco Urena.
Then on Tuesday, LAFC signed 19-year-old Uruguayan youth international forward Diego Rossi as the second-youngest designated player in MLS history.
And according to a report in Metro, LAFC is also pursuing a trade for another U.S. international in New York Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan.
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman