Well hello there, hope you all enjoyed your turkey day. As we get ready for the official announcement of LAFC roster moves heading into the 2022 season, let’s continue the voting for year-end awards. Today we focus on the often-talked about defense. While many are under the belief that the defense needs work, the truth is the foundations are there to get back to leading the league in fewest goals allowed.
One of the breakouts last season, Palacios came into his third season at LAFC looking to take on more responsibility and get break into the regular rotation. He was able to achieve both of those things. Starting a career high 19 times, and featuring in 26 matches, Palacios took another step in his development. Posting a career high 44 interceptions, he also made an impact on offense, serving up two assists, with over 85% passing.
The thing about defense, sometimes having a really good season, means also flying under the radar. That was somewhat the case with new signing Kim Moon-Hwan. In his first year at LAFC the South Korean international logged 27 matches played with 19 starts. He featured in four of the team’s clean sheets, and finished with 24 interceptions, one goal, and two assists on the year. Considering this was his first season not only at LAFC, but in MLS, it’s exciting to think about how he'll look in year two, now that he's settled in.
Jesús Murillo ties it for the @MLS All-Stars!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 26, 2021
And he does it in front of the @LAFC home crowd #MLSAllStar pic.twitter.com/w8WDjRsW5W
Despite playing just a handful of matches upon his arrival in 2020, Murillo came into 2021 with a ton of expectation. Not only did he deliver, but he finished the season as one the more talked about players in the squad. Starting 32 matches, he was definitely a regular name on the team sheet. Murillo played in four of the team’s six clean sheets, racking up a team-high 65 interceptions. What he lacked in offensive contributions, he more than made up for in being a defensive stalwart. He even got the nod to feature for MLS in this year’s MLS All-Star Game against Liga MX. After just one full season with the club, it’s clear Murillo is one of those you can build a top-tier defense around.
Defensive Player of the Year
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