Niko Hamalainen - with Queens Park Rangers - EFL Cup, 2016
Andrew Couldridge-Reuters/Livepic

Reports: LAFC mull loan move for Finnish-American fullback Niko Hamalainen


LAFC could soon be acquiring on loan an intriguing young fullback with US ties and English Championship experience, according to reporting on both sides of the Atlantic.

Niko Hamalainen, a 21-year-old defender with London club Queens Park Rangers, has joined Bob Bradley’s squad as they work through preseason preparations in LA, and made a substitute appearance in LAFC’s 3-0 scrimmage loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

Born in Miami to a Finnish father and American mother, Hamalainen spent most of his childhood in the United States and spent time in FC Dallas’ academy before signing with QPR in 2014. He’s made only a handful of first-team appearances for Rangers since then, though he reportedly recently signed a contract extension that keeps him on that club’s books until the summer of 2020.

Hamalainen has played in both midfield and defense, but his primary position appears to be left back. He’s a Finnish youth international and has already made his senior-team debut for the homeland of his father, who was himself a professional player before relocating to the US.

LAFC-centric site Angels on Parade notes that Hamalainen appears to fit into a strategy of LAFC considering young prospects with both overseas experience and North American ties.

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