Galaxy defender Yohance Marshall returned to the club on Monday following a nearly six month loan spell with the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2 Pro League.
On loan since early April, Marshall was able to gain some valuable match experience and helped lead the second year club to their first-ever postseason berth.
“It was a great experience,” Marshall said after Tuesday’s training session, which was his second with the club since being recalled from his loan. “The team down there is really nice.
Every game I think I learned something and every game I was able to improve myself. I think that was the main thing going to Austin, it was to try to improve my game.”
After appearing in just one Open Cup game in 2009, as well as a couple of friendlies, Marshall came into his second season with LA looking to play an increased role in the club’s defense, but with Gregg Berhalter and Omar Gonzalez each returning, and Leonardo having arrived from Sao Paulo on loan, the decision was made to send the 24-year-old to Austin in order to gain some valuable game experience.
“I’m still adjusting [to being back] a little bit,” said Marshall, who had three goals in 24 games with the Aztex. “I went there to get some games and I was able to get some confidence back as well.
Now I’m just trying to carry that back here with me to the Galaxy and play with that same kind of confidence now. I think it’s a big thing. When you play here, there are a lot of older guys, more experienced guys and you have to be confident.
Even if you make a mistake, you have to forget it and then try and move on. So, confidence is something really important.”
With Marshall’s help, the Aztex have compiled the second best record in the Division 2 Pro League this season, going 14-4-7 for 49 points with five games still remaining.
While his three goals were good for the fourth most on the club, it was his experience marshalling the back line that has played the biggest role in helping to turn the club around after a 5-17-8 mark in 2009.
Marshall’s work in Texas did not go unnoticed by the Galaxy coaches, who included him in the 18-man squad for the 1-0 win at FC Dallas on May 20 and then played him for the final 45 minutes of the friendly win over Boca Juniors a few days later.
Now with Gregg Berhalter and A.J. DeLaGarza questionable for this weekend’s game, he has answered his club’s call once again.
“I think they always had me in mind and they always wanted me to improve,” Marshall said of his coaches and teammates in LA. “They are giving me that support again and just helping me out in every way they can.
“I just want to be able to help the team in any way I can. If they need me, I’m going to be there.”