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LAFC 2019 Player Postmortem: Shaft Brewer, Jr.

Youngster sees position change before moving on.

SOCCER: APR 17 MLS - LAFC at Vancouver Whitecaps Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Shaft Brewer, Jr. started his second season with Los Angeles Football Club in 2019, but the now-20 year old officially departed midseason.

Brewer joined LAFC in 2018 preseason after initially signing a pro deal at RB Leipzig, but not breaking through to the first team there. The young American, who had spent time in Sacramento Republic and FC Dallas’ academies, got his feet wet in 2018 but not much else.

This season, one of the questions coming in was what position he would play. He joined LAFC as a forward, but didn’t look likely to get time there. He spent time training as a right back, alongside Latif Blessing, with the team short in backup in that position.

Brewer was sent on loan to USL Championship side Phoenix Rising FC at the start of the season, to help him get reps at right back, but unlike his loan stint there last year, he only got one appearance in Arizona this campaign.

And then he got his one appearance, and was effectively thrown into the deep end at the Vancouver Whitecaps on April 17, starting at right back. It was Bob Bradley’s first game really rotating his lineup, and he swapped out three-quarters of the defense, with Brewer and Niko Hamalainen making their first starts in MLS in defense.

It didn’t go well, as LAFC, who lost just six games across all competitions all year, lost their first competitive match of the year, 1-0. The goal that beat them was a fluky one, to be fair, but the road loss gave LAFC a bit of a heat check that maybe wholesale changes weren’t going to lead to an automatic three points.

And from there, Brewer stayed on the bench the rest of his tenure with LAFC, which officially ended in late-July with an announcement that the team and player agreed to part ways.

Here are Brewer’s 2019 stats with LAFC:

Shaft Brewer, Jr. 2019 LAFC statistics

2019 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2019 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS Regular Season 1 1 90 0 0 1 0 0 0
U.S. Open Cup 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MLS Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 1 90 0 0 1 0 0 0

So since leaving LAFC, Brewer has appeared to be on the move, showing plenty of content on his Instagram account from Norway. So far, there’s been no news of him signing with another team. The Norwegian league’s season ends Dec. 1 so maybe the timing means he could be joining a team in the coming weeks.

We’ll have to see. Brewer is a player with potential but like so many players, especially those being moved around to different positions, the big thing is getting some regular playing time somewhere to find your position and level. We’ll see what happens for Brewer in the future, but at just 20 now, there is bound to be another twist or two (or more!) left in his career.

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