The LA Galaxy have signed former Galaxy Academy and LA Galaxy II defender Nathan Smith as a Homegrown Player, the club announced today. The LA Galaxy have 20 total players across LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II that have come through the club’s developmental system.
“Nathan is a player that has shown promise during his time with LA Galaxy II,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Pete Vagenas. “His signing with our first team is a testament to his continued growth on the field. We think he can continue to develop to contribute to our team at the MLS level.”
Smith joins LA Galaxy after one season with the club’s USL side, LA Galaxy II. The former Galaxy Academy defender signed his first professional contract with LA Galaxy II ahead of the 2016 USL season, electing to forego his senior season at UCLA. With Los Dos in 2016, Smith appeared in 24 matches under then LA Galaxy II Head Coach Curt Onalfo.
Smith, from Clovis, Calif., is now one of eight LA Galaxy Homegrown Players, including Gyasi Zardes, Jose Villarreal, Raul Mendiola, Bradford Jamieson IV, Jack McBean, Hugo Arellano and Jaime Villarreal.
At UCLA, Smith earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 honors in his sophomore and junior years. In his junior year, Smith logged a team-high 1,744 minutes in 20 games helping UCLA to its 33rd straight NCAA tournament appearance.
Before joining UCLA, Smith spent time on the international scene with U.S. Soccer’s U-17 National Team, earning 23 caps. He competed for the U-17’s at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup and later helped lead the team to the 2011 U-17 CONCACAF Championship where he scored the game-winning goal in the final against Canada.
In his time with the LA Galaxy Academy, Smith helped lead the U-17s to the 2011 Generation Adidas Cup while also earning time with the Academy’s U-18 team.
The LA Galaxy will open the 2017 MLS Regular Season this weekend at StubHub Center when they take on 2016 MLS Supporters’ Shield winners FC Dallas on Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. PT live on Univision. Tickets to the LA Galaxy’s home opener, along with all Galaxy home games at StubHub Center, are on sale now at www.lagalaxy.com/tickets. For a full 2017 LA Galaxy schedule, visit www.lagalaxy.com/schedule.
LA Galaxy Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017 MLS season are available for purchase now. Season Ticket Members and Galaxy fans can go to www.lagalaxy.com/tickets/seasontickets to secure their 2017 LA Galaxy Season Ticket package.