CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy II returns for their fifth season determined to rebuild after slumping to the worst season in team history a year ago.
Los Dos went 8-19-5 last season in head coach Mike Munoz’s first season at the helm, missing the postseason for the first time since the team's founding in 2014. Starting a youth-laden squad that was among the youngest in USL, Galaxy II endured more than a few peaks and valleys as the season progressed.
Looking ahead to the 2018 campaign, Munoz has retooled this squad in hopes of returning them to the postseason.
“We have a much more balanced group regarding positional depth. We have real depth at every position which is something we didn’t necessarily have last year," Munoz told LAGalaxy.com. "I also think that the guys have gained a lot of experience from last season, so some of the guys we relied upon too early or too soon, now have another year under their belts. The top talent from the Academy is also knocking on the door, so we’re excited to see how this team will perform."
Galaxy II bolstered their roster this season with the signings of several players with USL and MLS experience including a pair of top 15 MLS SuperDraft picks in Julian Buescher and Emmanuel Appiah. Los Dos also brought in a few intriguing talented youngsters such as former Cuban youth international Frank Lopez, Wade Hamilton, and ex-U.S. youth defender John Requejo to add to the squad.
“We’ve added some experienced pieces up the spine of our field. We have veterans who can help mold the young guys,” Munoz said. “The sheer quality of the group has improved. We feel like it’s still a group that will still be among one of the younger teams in the USL, but we believe we’re at a better starting place.”
As always, Galaxy II’s campaign will be a juggling act for Munoz as he looks to not only keep his team competitive, but also maintain the fitness of first-team players, and give minutes to the best and brightest the club’s Academy system has to offer.
The challenges in mind, Munoz says he's ready for all the 2018 season has to offer.
“We expect to make the playoffs at a minimum," he concluded. "We expect to continue to develop these guys so that they’re knocking on the door [of the first team]. We’ll have some first team guys with us as well throughout the year, so we’ll need to make sure that they’re doing everything that they can to knock on Sigi’s door for the first team.”