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TRANSACTIONS: Republic FC Brings in Hilliard-Arce

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 01/09/20, 10:23AM EST

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Switchbacks sign veteran forward Volesky; San Diego makes trio of additions


New Sacramento Republic FC signing Tomas Hilliard-Arce made 26 appearances for the LA Galaxy II as the side reached the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs. | Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC added a major piece to its defense on Wednesday with the signing of 2018 MLS SuperDraft No. 2 selection Tomas Hilliard-Arce, pending league and federation approval.

Selected by the LA Galaxy two years ago, Hilliard-Arce made five regular season appearances for the club in Major League Soccer, while featuring prominently on loan in the USL Championship with the LA Galaxy II last season as the side reached the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs. Hilliard-Arce made 26 appearances for Los Dos last season, recording 127 clearances, 56 interceptions and posting at least a 63 percent success rate in duels, aerials and tackles.

“Tomas is a tremendous center back with a commanding presence that will give our back line a massive boost,” said Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant. “He is a proven winner that takes real pride in the defensive side of his game and is a valuable asset on both attacking and defending set pieces. We are delighted to welcome Tomas to Sacramento.”

Hilliard-Arce played four years at Stanford, 2014-2017, leading the Cardinal to three consecutive NCAA national championships. In each of his last two years in Palo Alto, the center back was selected First Team All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy finalist his senior year, an award given to the nation’s top male and female soccer players.

VOLESKY LINKS UP WITH SWITCHBACKS: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announced on Wednesday it had signed veteran forward Christian Volesky, pending league and federation approval.

“I'm very excited to join the Switchbacks for the 2020 season,” said Volesky. "I feel that the team that [Switchbacks Head Coach Alan] Koch has put together, we have a very talented group. Can't wait to get started and compete for a championship.”

Volesky has scored 40 regular-season goals in the USL Championship over his career, which saw him win the USL Championship Final in his rookie season in 2015 with the Rochester Rhinos. He has also competed for Saint Louis FC, OKC Energy FC and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.

“Christian is a striker that I have watched from afar for several years. He has a very good goalscoring record in USL, but I don't think he has peaked yet,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Alan Koch. “I look forward to helping him take his game to an even higher level this year. His pace, work-rate, and finishing abilities are clearly evident and are traits that made him very difficult to defend. I am excited to see him link up with our other attacking options.”

SAN DIEGO ADDS TRIO: San Diego Loyal SC announced on Wednesday the addition of forward Ashley Nazira, and midfielders Beverly Makangila and Jerome Mbekeli as the club continues to build its squad for its inaugural campaign.

“As training camp approaches, we’re excited to continue building a roster of players who will positively impact our organization, both on and off the field,” said SD Loyal Head Coach Landon Donovan.

A native of Mauritius, Nariza joins San Diego having scored six goals in 12 appearances for his national team. Mbekeli competed last season in the Championship for Sporting Kansas City II, where he scored two goals in 19 appearances for the side, while the 19-year-old Makangila arrives having played competitively in his native Democratic Republic of Congo.

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