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LAFC announce signing of defender Diego Palacios

League leaders add another intriguing prospect.

Japan v Ecuador: Group B - 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Photo by Marc Atkins - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Los Angeles Football Club announced on Monday they have signed Ecuadorian defender Diego Palacios with Targeted Allocation Money.

The 20-year-old joins from Ecuadorian club SD Aucas, after spending a season on loan at Dutch club Willem II. The announcement comes after reports that LAFC both signed Palacios before the close of the MLS transfer window last Wednesday and that they beat out Spanish giant FC Barcelona to sign the player.

“Diego is an impressive young player who has drawn interest from some of the top clubs in the world,” LAFC EVP & General Manager John Thorrington said in a statement. “We are excited that Diego has chosen to come to Los Angeles to develop and grow in the next stage of his career.”

Palacios is a left back who in addition to his club exploits has one cap for Ecuador’s senior team and most notably featured throughout Ecuador’s run in the 2019 U-20 World Cup, where La Tri finished in third place, beating the U.S. U-20s and new teammate Brian Rodriguez’s Uruguay squad on the way to that impressive finish.

“Diego is a young, talented left back and we’re really excited because we think he’s another player that fits well with everything we try to do,” said LAFC head coach Bob Bradley.

It will be interesting to see Palacios’ role this season in Los Angeles. One would presume Jordan Harvey will remain the starter for the time being, and Mohamed El-Munir is estimated to be in line for a return to action before the end of the season. If Palacios can get into match fitness quickly, he could be a sub option to get his feet wet, as Harvey has been a frequent player subbed out this season, so getting Palacios some run that way wouldn’t be totally out of the team’s habit. We’ll see what kind of impact the newest LAFC player will make.

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