PHILADELPHIA – Tomas Hilliard-Arce was a proven winner in college and how he’s hoping to bring his success to StubHub Center.
The Galaxy selected Hilliard-Arce second overall in Friday’s SuperDraft, the team’s highest draft selection since 2009. A four-year starter at Stanford University, the 22-year-old central defender led the Cardinal to three consecutive NCAA titles during his collegiate career.
“It’s been a rollercoaster. Coming into Stanford, I wasn’t a top recruit so I wasn’t sure what my role on the team was going to be. But I had a lot of confidence and I knew I could compete. From there, it was a lot of success. Knowing that I still have that confidence and that will to succeed is something I’m hoping to bring to the Galaxy.
“I want to continue the tradition of winning and being in contention for MLS Cups.”
Despite not being a top prospect out of high school, Hilliard-Arce flourished with the Cardinal making 87 appearances and scoring 13 goals with five assists in four seasons in Palo Alto. His success at Stanford propelled the central defender up draft boards as he entered the 2018 MLS SuperDraft considered by many to be the top defensive prospect available.
During the pre-draft combine, Hilliard-Arce and the Galaxy coaching staff spoke and immediately the central defender was impressed with Sigi Schmid’s plans.
“The Galaxy interviewed me at the draft, and something I really liked about them is that they had done their homework on me before rather than just basing it off seven days,” Hilliard-Arce told LA Galaxy Insider. “Also, one of the assistant coaches immediately called me out on something and it’s something that I love because hearing criticism is just one way that I can learn and become a better soccer player.”
Hilliard-Arce joins a Galaxy center back contingent that includes Daniel Steres, Michael Ciani, Dave Romney, Jørgen Skjelvik, and Hugo Arellano. Despite the crowded numbers, the newly minted number two pick is ready to fight for his place.
“I’m here to make an impact right away. I’m here to compete and I’m here to push to people to get better and I hope people will do the same for me. I won in college and I refuse to do anything but in MLS.”