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LAFC sign defender Kim Moon-hwan

Right back should bolster defense for 2021.

South Korea v China - AFC Asian Cup Group C Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

It’s official: LAFC have signed defender Kim Moon-hwan, announced on Monday by the club after the rumor emerged in South Korea a little over a week ago.

“Moon is a dynamic, exciting player who also brings top international experience to our team,” said LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington in a team statement. “He is an intelligent and versatile defender in the prime of his career, and our club and our supporters are incredibly excited he chose LAFC for the next phase of his career.”

Kim, 25, arrives from South Korean club Busan IPark, the only club he’s played for in his career to date, after debuting in 2017.

With Busan spending most of their time in the K-League 2, Kim’s profile percolated before the club earned promotion to the top flight in 2020. He did become a full Korean international in 2018, and won the 2018 Asian Games with the Korean U-23 National Team, which means his compulsory military duty is considered complete by his country.

Kim is a right back, capable of bombing forward and being a creative option when pushed up, but just as adept at staying back and providing defensive cover, which are both roles LAFC use with their full backs. And given the revolving door at the position in 2020 for the club, and the apparent long-term plan for Tristan Blackmon to permanently become a center back, LAFC absolutely needed a new starting caliber right back. With Kim, they appear to have found that.

He’s the first Korean player on the club and the fifth in MLS all-time. This is an intriguing move, but one that seems to make complete sense on the field, and with Busan IPark relegated for the 2021 season, it seems the player was ready to take on a new challenge. Welcome to Los Angeles, Moon-hwan!

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