LOS ANGELES (Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021) – The LA Galaxy announced today that the club has signed Academy product defender Jalen Neal. While still a member of the LA Galaxy Academy, the 17-year-old defender played his first year with LA Galaxy II last season in the USL Championship, where he appeared in multiple positions along the backline during his 13 appearances for Los Dos.
“Jalen is a talented defender who has shown his capability at the professional level last season with LA Galaxy II,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese. “We are excited that he will become another player on our first-team roster that has come through our developmental system. We look forward to Jalen continuing to learn and grow with our club.”
Neal made 13 appearances, including 12 starts, for Los Dos during the 2020 season in various positions across the back line. Since 2016, Neal has also represented the LA Galaxy Academy at the U-13, U-15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 levels, making 69 total appearances in the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy. Neal has also featured for U.S. Youth National Teams, including the U.S. U-16 squad.
In addition to his success on the field, Neal was also named the 2020 LA Galaxy II Humanitarian of the Year. He has been consistent in his support of the community alongside the LA Galaxy Foundation, volunteering at Leapwood Avenue Elementary School in Carson with the Garden School Foundation program.
Across the LA Galaxy first-team, the Galaxy now have 13 players that have come through the club’s developmental system: Jalen Neal and Efrain Alvarez, Julian Araujo, Nick DePuy, Cameron Dunbar, Kai Koreniuk, Eric Lopez, Jonathan Perez, Adam Saldaña, Daniel Steres, Diedie Traore, Justin Vom Steeg and Ethan Zubak.