LAFC bolsters defense, acquires Murillo from Colombia

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles FC has acquired Colombian defender Jesús David Murillo on loan from Deportivo Independiente Medellín in a bid to shore up its leaky defense.

LAFC announced the move before Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Vancouver. Murillo will occupy an international roster spot, and the deal includes an option for a permanent transfer.

The 26-year-old Murillo has appeared in 18 matches this season for Independiente Medellín, and he scored two goals in Copa Libertadores competition. Murillo is already in Los Angeles, and he attended LAFC’s match against Seattle last weekend.

LAFC made the move with just seven games left in the regular season in hopes of restoring strength to a revamped defense that has been the club’s weakest link this season. Coach Bob Bradley’s club allowed 31 goals in its first 24 matches.

LAFC won the Supporters’ Shield in 2019 while allowing an MLS-low 37 goals in 34 matches. But after trading central defender Walker Zimmerman to Nashville, sending goalkeeper Tyler Miller to Minnesota and not re-signing Steven Beitashour in the offseason, LAFC’s defense largely has been in shambles.

LAFC also has been without MLS MVP Carlos Vela for nine matches after he injured his knee in August. LAFC is 7-7-3 after the loss to the Whitecaps.

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