dosdefenders

LA Galaxy II Preview: Defenders

LA Galaxy II will return only one defender from the 2016 season after Nathan Smith, Hugo Arellano and Bradley Diallo all signed contracts with LA Galaxy in the offseason. Lee Nishanian was signed by the Harrisburg City Islanders and Jefrey Payeras’ loan to the Los Dos from Guatemalan side C.S.D. Municipal expired at season’s end.

That leaves Josh Turnley, signed a year ago by LA Galaxy II after being selected by LA Galaxy in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. One of the most consistent performers of the squad’s backline, Turnley will be the veteran leader in a new band of recruits.

Josh Turnley

In his debut professional season, Turnley made 23 appearances for Los Dos. His four assists on the season were the most of any LA Galaxy II defender. Turnley proved consistent in the left back role and his ability to be dangerous going forward was crucial for Los Dos earning their third straight playoff appearance.

Turnley featured in the Galaxy’s preseason match against Club Tijuana at StubHub Center on Feb. 7.

Tyler Turner

Turner, signed this week, has the most professional experience of any LA Galaxy II player: 50 games in USL play with Orlando City SC on top of seven MLS appearances with the club. Turner has garnered plenty of recognition for his quality as a young defender was selected by Chipotle MLS Homegrown Head Coach Landon Donovan to participate in the 2015 and 2016 edition of the event.

On loan with Orlando City B in 2016, USL named Turner No. 4 in the team’s annual 20 Under 20 rankings. Turner is a right back with an attacking edge who looks to be a key piece of the Los Dos backline in 2017.

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Robert Castellanos

Castellanos, another offseason signing, joins Los Dos from Liga MX side Atlas FC after signing his first professional contract with the club in August 2016. Castellanos has spent time in the USYNT system, most recently being called in for U-20 training camp in July 2016.

In a handful of preseason scrimmages with Los Dos so far, Castellanos has established himself as a vocal leader that can connect passes and is good in the air.

Jean Engola

Engola signed his first professional contract with the Galaxy this offseason from Kadji Sports Academy in Cameroon. Engola has featured in the center back role for Los Dos during the team’s preseason scrimmages, debuting his athleticism and skill in the air.

Nathan Smith, Hugo Arellano, Bradley Diallo

Smith, Arellano and Diallo all signed MLS contracts ahead of the Galaxy’s 2017 campaign, but are likely to spend games with LA Galaxy II throughout the season.

With injuries and suspensions troubling the Galaxy early on in the season, Diallo and Smith have already collected MLS debuts.

LA Galaxy II’s season opener, presented by Bare Republic, will see Los Dos take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Saturday, March 25 at StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium (2:00 p.m. PT). Fans save money when they purchase LA Galaxy II tickets online, available here.

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