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LA Galaxy Sign Jaime Villarreal And Nathan Smith To Homegrown Contracts

Jaime Villarreal, Rafael Garcia, Ari Lassiter, Raul Mendiola, LA Galaxy
Raul Mendiola, Rafael Garcia, Ari Lassiter and Jaime Villarreal of LA Galaxy | Photo by Jorge Galvez of LA Soccer Nation | March 2, 2017

The LA Galaxy have officially confirmed on Thursday the signings of two Homegrown players, defender Nathan Smith, and midfielder Jaime Villarreal from LA Galaxy II.

With the additions of Nathan Smith, and Jaime Villarreal to the team, Los Angeles now stand with eight total Homegrown players on the roster heading into the 2017 MLS season. They join players like Jose Villarreal, Raul Mendiola, Jack McBean, Hugo Arellano, Gyasi Zardes, and Bradford Jamieson IV who will continue to be important assets to the team.

LA Galaxy Jaime Villarreal Ariel Lassiter

Ariel Lassiter and Jaime Villarreal at LA Galaxy practice on March 2, 2017. Image provided by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation.

Jaime Villarreal, age 21, spent a great amount of time developing through the LA Galaxy academy and Los Dos. Throughout his development, he has gone to score a variety of goals, but more importantly is a player that plays with consistency and intelligence on the ball. Jaime Villarreal made a total of 61 appearances in the USL with since 2014.

“Jaime is a player that has grown up in our system while excelling with LA Galaxy II,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Pete Vagenas. “We are confident that success can continue with the first team and we are excited to add him to our roster.”

Former Los Dos defender Oscar Sorto signed with Orange County SCand by promoting Nathan Smith, who is capable of playing at a high level at the RB position, should continue to do a great job under promoted manager Curt Onalfo, and the veterans of the group, Jelle Van Damme, Ashley Cole, and Robbie Rogers.

“Nathan is a player that has shown promise during his time with LA Galaxy II,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Pete Vagenas. “His signing with out first team is a testament to his continued growth on the field. We think he can continue to develop to contribute to our team at the MLS level.”

Nathan Smith who is also a player that spent a good amount of time developing through the LA Galaxy Academy and Los Dos, he also played football with the UCLA Bruins, PSA Elite, and United States U17 youth national team. He is an attack minded defender with the ability to track back with good speed, and provides a versatile style that could be extremely helpful to the team this season.

The LA Galaxy start their 2017 MLS season on Saturday March 4 vs FC Dallas.

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