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LAFC beats Barca to Ecuadorian youngster

Carlos Vela converted a penalty and set up two goals in LAFC's 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls. To watch more MLS sign up to ESPN+.

LAFC have signed defender Diego Palacios from Ecuadorian club SD Aucas using targeted allocation money, the club announced on Monday.

ESPN FC sources reported last week that the move was set to take place despite MLS' transfer window having already closed.

Palacios, 20, shone for Ecuador in the Under-20 World Cup in the team's run to the semifinal this year and impressed Barcelona scouts last season while on loan at Willem II in the Netherlands.

Palacios was in line to be a part of the Barcelona "B" squad this upcoming season, but LAFC came into the race late for the Guayaquil native, who apparently was drawn to the MLS club by the chance at senior football in the U.S.

"Diego is a young, talented left back and we're really excited because we think he's another player that fits well with everything we try to do," said LAFC head coach Bob Bradley.

Palacios started in 32 appearances across all competitions for Wilhelm II and registered three assists, while also competing for the club in the Dutch Cup final loss against Ajax at the end of the 2019 season. 

"Diego is an impressive young player who has drawn interest from some of the top clubs in the world," LAFC general manager John Thorrington said. "We are excited that Diego has chosen to come to Los Angeles to develop and grow in the next stage of his career."

MLS points leader LAFC is on the road against Real Salt Lake in its next match. (live on Aug. 17 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+).

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