Shortly before the 2023 MLS Schedule was due to drop, LAFC dropped a teaser of their own in the form of the now famous hat shipment. Typically the precursor to a signing announcement with the destination of domestic or International used as a hint. This time it was another young International that was teased and the club announced today the official arrival of Honduran defender Denil Maldonado on loan from CD Motagua. The 24-year-old Honduran National Team Member will be added to LAFC’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) sand P-1 Visa.
“Denil is a strong, talented defender with considerate international experience and has captained teams to success,” said LAFC Co-President and General Manager John Thorrington in a statement. “He will provide great versatility and quality to our strong back line, We are excited to welcome Denil to LAFC and appreciate the support and collaboration from Montagua as well as his representative.”
Maldonado joins LAFC after earning three championships with CD Motagua (2018-19 Apertura & Clausura and 2021-22 Clausura). The Tegucigalpa native played three seasons with CD Motaguafrom 2018-2022, making a total of 116 appearances and scoring five goals and registering two assists across all competitions, including three appearances in the Concacaf Champions League.
Maldonado has made 21 appearances for the Honduran National team, including playing in nine 2022 World Cup Qualifying matches and appearing in three games at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The defender began playing for Honduras at the U-17 level and made his senior team debut as a 21-year old on Sept. 6, 2019, in a 4-0 win over Puerto Rico.
With Sebastien Ibeagha heading to FC Dallas earlier in the offseason, there was some space for added depth, and we all know how much the club value consistently solid defenders with championship pedigree. It was not stated if certain performance requirements were needed for the deal to be made permanent, just that LAFC maintained the option to do so after the 2023 season. Here’s hoping he was a great inaugural season in the black-and-gold and gives the club a reason to keep him around for a bit longer.
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