LA Galaxy II announce roster for 2016 USL season

CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, March 23, 2016) – LA Galaxy II, the 2015 USL Western Conference Champions, announced today the full staff and roster ahead of the team’s opening match of the 2016 United Soccer League (USL) Regular Season. On Saturday, Los Dos will kick off their third season in USL at 7:30 p.m. PT against Arizona United SC at StubHub Center. Tickets for Saturday’s match, which features free parking, $2 beer and $2 tacos, can be purchased by visiting www.lagalaxy.com/schedule/2.

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Head Coach Curt Onalfo and his staff will lead a group of 11 returning players and five new additions in the team’s quest for its first USL Championship in 2016. Returning to the squad are forwards Adonis Amaya, Kainoa Bailey, Jack McBean, midfielders Alejandro Covarrubias, Ryo Fujii, Adrian Vera, Jaime Villarreal, defenders Bradley Diallo, Lee Nishanian and goalkeepers Bennett Sneddon and Eric Lopez.

Three international players were added to the roster: Bryam Rebellon (MF, Colombia), forward Denzel Slager (FW, Netherlands, Curacao international) and John Neeskens (DF, holds Netherlands, Spanish and U.S. citizenship). Galaxy II also signed 2016 MLS SuperDraft pick Josh Turnley (DF, Georgetown) earlier this week, as well as former Galaxy Academy product Nathan Smith (DF), who chose to forego his senior year of eligibility at UCLA in favor of returning to the club.

LA Galaxy II also announced the coaching and technical staff, as Curt Onalfo returns for his third season as the head coach of Galaxy II.  Rounding out the coaching and technical staff is Technical Director Jovan Kirovski, Assistant Coach Rob Becerra, Goalkeeper Coach Daniel Gonzalez, Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Jones, Athletic Trainer Rick Martinez, Equipment Manager Gerson Vargas and Team Administrator Kelly Davila.

2015 members Joe Franco, Andre Auras, Travis Bowen, Nicholas Shackelford and Elijah Martin all depart from Los Dos. Goalkeeper Clement Diop, defender Daniel Steres and forward Ariel Lassiter signed MLS contracts with the LA Galaxy this offseason and will remain available for selection via loan. The remaining LA Galaxy II roster will be composed of LA Galaxy players on loan and LA Galaxy Academy players. Per USL rules and regulations, up to five Academy players can occupy a roster spot without counting against the official roster count.

The USL will continue in a two-conference format, with 14 teams making up the Eastern Conference and 15 teams making up the Western Conference. The 30-game regular season will be conducted over 27 weeks, which will kick off on March 25 and conclude on September 25. For the 2016 USL season, the team with the best record across both conferences will earn the 2016 USL Regular Season Title. The top eight teams in each conference will then advance to the 2016 USL Playoffs, which will see a single-elimination bracket crown two conference champions. The two conference champions will advance to the 2016 USL Championship. 

LA Galaxy II will play against each team in the newly realigned 15-team USL Western Conference at least once. They will face California rivals Sacramento Republic FC and Orange County Blues FC four times each during the 2016 campaign. Los Dos will also play three new Western Conference opponents in their inaugural years: Rio Grande Valley FC (twice), Swope Park Rangers (once), and San Antonio (twice).

LA Galaxy II qualified for the USL Playoffs for a second straight season and defeated Sacramento Republic FC and Orange County Blues FC ahead of the team’s 2-1 victory over OKC Energy FC in the Conference Final. The win provided Galaxy II with their first trophy as 2015 USL Western Conference Champions. Galaxy II would fall to the Rochester Rhinos 2-1 in extra time in the USL Championship match.

 

LA GALAXY II ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS (2): Bennett Sneddon, Eric Lopez

DEFENDERS (5): Bradley Diallo, John Neeskens, Lee Nishanian, Nathan Smith, Josh Turnley 

MIDFIELDERS (6): Alejandro Covarrubias, Ryo Fujii, Bryam Rebellon, Denzel Slager, Adrian Vera, Jaime Villarreal

FORWARDS (3): Adonis Amaya, Kainoa Bailey, Jack McBean

ROSTER BREAKDOWN 

NEW SIGNINGS (5):

  • Bryam Rebellon, Josh Turnley, Denzel Slager, John Neeskens, Nathan Smith

RETURNING (11):

  • Adonis Amaya, Kainoa Bailey, Alejandro Covarrubias, Bradley Diallo, Ryo Fujii, Eric Lopez, Jack McBean, Lee Nishanian, Bennett Sneddon, Adrian Vera, Jaime Villarreal

LA GALAXY ACADEMY PRODUCTS (9):

  • Adonis Amaya, Alejandro Covarrubias, Ryo Fujii, Eric Lopez, Jack McBean, Bennett Sneddon, Adrian Vera, Jaime Villarreal, Nathan Smith

BIRTHPLACE:

  • United States (12): Josh Turnley, Jack McBean, Nathan Smith, Adrian Vera, Bennett Sneddon, Alejandro Covarrubias, Kainoa Bailey, Jaime Villarreal, Lee Nishanian, Adonis Amaya, Eric Lopez, John Neeskens
  • France (1): Bradley Diallo
  • Netherlands (1): Denzel Slager
  • Colombia (1): Bryam Rebellon
  • Hong Kong (1): Ryo Fujii

PLAYER BIOS

Goalkeepers 

#75

Eric Lopez 

Goalkeeper

6-1

165

Westminster, Calif.

3/5/1999

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II permanently following the 2014 USL season

Lopez, the youngest member on the roster and youngest player in USL history to sign a professional contract, has featured at every level of the LA Galaxy Academy, playing with the LA Galaxy U-13’s to the U-18’s. Last fall, Lopez was called to international duty as a part of US Soccer’s U-17 FIFA World Cup roster.

#54

Bennett Sneddon

Goalkeeper

6-3

200

Calabasas, Calif.

4/4/1997

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II on July 20, 2015 from LA Galaxy Academy

Sneddon, 18, the second youngest member on the roster, signed with Galaxy II midseason last year from LA Galaxy Academy. Behind now first-teamer Clement Diop, Sneddon played in one game for Los Dos in 2015. Sneddon was an integral part in the Galaxy side that captured the 2013-14 Developmental Academy U-16 National Championship.

 

Defenders

#62

John Neeskens

Defender

6-1

190

Barcelona, Spain

11/17/1993

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II on March 14, 2016

Neeskens, a Spanish defender calling Barcelona his hometown, spent time in the academy systems of Villarreal and FC Barcelona. Neeskens was born in Tulsa, Okla., and has citizenship in the U.S., Spain and the Netherlands. Neeskens comes to Los Dos after spending one season each with New York Cosmos B in 2015 and Colorado Rapids in 2014.

#53

Bradley Diallo

Defender

6-0

174

Marseille, France

7/20/1990

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II ahead of 2014 USL Season

Diallo began his professional career in his native France, when he signed a contract with Marseille after progressing through the team’s youth development system. Before joining Galaxy II in the USL, the defender spent time with Oldham Athletic in England and Royal White Star Bruxelles in Belgium. Diallo started 16 games for Los Dos in 2015, but will be sidelined until late summer due to a ACL tear sustained during preseason training in February.

#29

Josh Turnley

Defender

5-11

175

Beaver, Pa.

12/22/1993

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II on March 21, 2016

Turnley, who was selected by the LA Galaxy in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, joins after a standout career at Georgetown University. During his time as a Hoya, Turnley earned Second Team All-Big East, Big East Conference All-Academic Team (2013, 2014) and Georgetown’s Most Improved Player (2013) honors. In his career at Georgetown, Turnley started 61 total matches and added six assists.

#72

Lee Nishanian

Defender

6-2

180

Ranco Cucamonga, Calif.

12/28/1991

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II ahead of 2014 USL Season

Nishanian attended at California State University, San Bernardino, where he played all four years. Additionally, he also spent time with USL Premier Development League club Thunder Bay Chill. Last season, the defender played in 10 games and started six.

#47

Nathan Smith

Defender

5-10

165

Clovis, Calif.

10/18/1994

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II ahead of 2015 USL Season

Smith chose to forego his senior season with UCLA in favor of a contract with Galaxy II ahead of the 2016 season. Smith, a former LA Galaxy Academy member, earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 honors in his sophomore and junior years at UCLA. In his junior year, Smith logged a team-high 1,744 minutes in 20 games helping UCLA to its 33rd straight NCAA tournament appearance.

 

Midfielders

#49

Adrian Vera

Midfielder

5-9

150

Norwalk, Calif.

1/13/1997

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II on July 20, 2015 from LA Galaxy Academy

Vera, signed midseason from LA Galaxy Academy in 2015, would go on to make eight appearances after signing his first professional contract. Vera, 19, was a member of the LA Galaxy Academy’s U-15/16 and U-17/18 sides since the 2011-12 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. During the 2014-15 season, Vera led the LA Galaxy U-18’s with 17 goals and three assists to a 22-11-6 record during the season to finish third in the Development Academy’s West Conference.

#57

Alejandro Covarrubias

Midfielder

6-1

170

Cudahy, Calif.

9/17/1991

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II ahead of 2014 USL Season

Covarrubias established himself as one of Galaxy II’s trusted pieces in 2015, his second year with the club. After making only three starts in 2014, Covarrubias made 22 starts in 28 appearances for Los Dos in 2015. Prior to joining Los Dos in USL, he attended Cerritos College for his Freshman and Sophomore seasons. Covarrubias transferred to Cal State Dominguez Hills for his Junior Season.

#48

Ryo Fujii

Midfielder

5-10

155

Hong Kong

8/7/1996

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II February 10, 2015

In his first season with Galaxy II, Fujii made three starts in 12 appearances. Previously, he was a member of the Galaxy Academy during the 2013-14 season, when he made 28 appearances and scored five goals for the LA Galaxy Academy U-18’s to help his squad to a first-place finish in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-18 Division. The midfielder attended UC Santa Barbara in 2014, where he earned 2014 Big West All-Freshman Team after logging over 1,200 minutes and recording two assists in his first season with the team.

#68

Denzel Slager

Midfielder

6’1”

190

Utrecht, Netherlands

5/2/1993

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II on February 17, 2016

Slager, 22, joins Los Dos after spending his first season in the USL with Orange County Blues FC. Slager had two assists and six goals in 21 appearances across all competitions for Orange County in 2015. Slager began his professional career in the Netherlands with RKC Waalwijk (Eredivisie), spending the 2012 and 2013 season there. In Jan. 2014, he signed with English League One club Coventry City, where he made one start and three substitute appearances. Slager was later signed by the Orange County Blues in March 2015. Slager was born and raised in Holland, but has played at the international level representing Curaçao, the island country in the south Caribbean Sea where his mother is from. Slager represented the country in the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championships.

#65

Jaime Villarreal

Midfielder

5-8

140

Inglewood, Calif.

6/23/1995

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II July 24, 2014

In 2015, his second season with Los Dos, Villarreal appeared in 23 games while starting 14. Villarreal almost tripled the amount of minutes he saw in 2014, helping the team to their second consecutive berth in the USL playoffs and its first-ever appearance in the USL Championship last October. Villarreal signed a new contract with Galaxy II on February 2, 2016. Villarreal, now 20, was the first-ever player from the LA Galaxy Academy to sign with Los Dos in 2014.

#52

Bryam Rebellon

Midfielder

6-0

180

Puerto Meta, Colombia

1/22/1992

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II on February 23, 2016

Rebellon joins Los Dos ahead of the 2016 season from Llaneros F.C. of the Categoria Primera B league in Colombia. Before that, Rebellon spent his career playing in both Colombian and Argentinian leagues, beginning his professional career with Soacha (Colombia) in 2009.

 

Forwards

#73

Adonis Amaya

Forward

5-10

155

Weminster, Calif.

11/10/1996

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II March 19, 2015

An LA Galaxy Academy product, Amaya was named U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s West Player of the Year in 2014 as a member of the Galaxy U-18 side. He scored 25 goals during the year, leading his team to a first-place finish in USSDA’s Southwest Division. In 2015, his first season with Los Dos, Amaya made four starts in 13 appearances.

#58

Kainoa Bailey

Forward

5-8

150

Henderson, Nevada

8/2/1995

How Acquired: Signed by Galaxy II August 20, 2014

In his first full season with the club, Bailey appeared in 18 games and made six starts. Bailey recorded one goal and two assists in that time. Previously, Bailey, a Nevada native, was a part of Bayer Leverkusen’s Under-23 team after signing a professional contract with the club in 2013. Before playing abroad, Bailey played for the Academy teams of two MLS clubs – D.C. United and Real Salt Lake.

#32

Jack McBean

Forward

6-0

175

Huntington Beach, Calif.

12/15/1994

How Acquired: Signed by the Galaxy as a Homegrown Player on January 31, 2011

McBean, now 21, signed with the Galaxy as a 16-year-old homegrown player. McBean, signing to the first team as the youngest player to ever sign for the club, will serve as captain for Los Dos in 2016. After being injured in 2014, McBean made 21 starts in 26 appearances for Los Dos in a full 2015 season spent with the club. Last season, McBean tallied five goals and six assists in just under 2,000 minutes.

 

LA Galaxy II Season Ticket Memberships for the 2016 USL season are available for purchase now. Season Ticket Members and Galaxy fans can go to www.lagalaxy.com/tickets/lagalaxyii or call 877-3GALAXY (342-5299) to secure their 2016 LA Galaxy II Season Ticket package. For single-game tickets, visit www.lagalaxy.com/schedule/2.

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