Nate Defending 9.22

LA Galaxy II Year in Review: Defenders

The LA Galaxy II defensive unit underwent significant changes between the 2017 and 2018 seasons, with only two players making frequent appearances in both seasons’ starting 11. Hugo Arellano and Jean Engola were the only players from the 2017 roster to make double-digit starts for Los Dos

In 2018, the LA Galaxy II backline was a combination of new faces, LA Galaxy Academy products, and young first-team talent. During the offseason, LA Galaxy II signed key members to their defensive unit, including John Requejo and LA Galaxy SuperDraft selection Nate Shultz. Midseason, LA Galaxy II rounded out their backline by signing Justin Fiddes and open tryout winner Diedie Traore. Traore led the backline in offensive production, recording five assists in 13 appearances.

With 27 starts and more minutes than any other Los Dos player, John Requejo was featured prominently in head coach Mike Munoz's defense. His combination of strength and speed down the left side helped produce two assists, 11 total shots and 24 scoring chances - the highest mark of a Los Dos defender. Although Requejo’s season was stopped short due to an injury sustained on September 1 against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, he was awarded the LA Galaxy II Defender of the Year award for his impressive performance.

Nate Shultz was the second most featured defensive players with 24 appearances in his first season with the club. Shultz split his time as a fullback and a winger to balance the right side of the defense. In total, Shultz made 72 critical defensive clearances for Los Dos. He was also a solid offensive presence with three assists and 14 chances created for the team.

As for the side's central defense, Jean Engola and Hugo Arellano featured prominently with the Los Dos veterans made a combined 180 clearances for their team. Both players recorded a goal in 2018, with Engola also adding an assist.

Munoz also awarded playing time to Tomas Hilliard-Arce, the second overall selection in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, to keep the first-teamer fresh. Hilliard-Arce made 14 appearances for LA Galaxy II, helping him stay fit for his five appearances and four starts for the first team in 2018.

In total, the team recorded three shutouts on the season compared to the four they recorded in 2017. The Galaxy also let in three more goals than in 2017, bringing their 2018 goals conceded total to 67. However, the USL expanded the league schedule to 34 games in 2018, adding two more games than 2017. This year’s unit finished with a 1.9 GAA compared to 2.0 in 2017, which showed overall improvement.

2018 Season Statistics

Name

GP

GS

MIN

G

A

SH

SOG

FC

YC

RC

Hugo Arellano

17

16

1,441

1

0

5

1

32

2

1

Jean Engola

20

20

1,643

1

1

5

1

21

5

1

Justin Fiddes

8

6

559

0

0

0

0

8

2

0

Tomas Hilliard-Arce

14

14

1,215

1

0

5

1

15

3

0

Ian Lonergan

3

3

270

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

John Requejo

27

27

2,358

0

2

11

5

28

4

0

Nate Shultz

24

21

1,976

0

3

0

0

9

0

0

Diedie Traore

13

11

966

0

5

7

1

19

1

0

Sheanon Williams

3

3

241

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

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