CARSON, CA (January 13, 2017) – The LA Galaxy have traded A.J. DeLaGarza to the Houston Dynamo. In exchange, the Galaxy have received $125,000 in General Allocation Money and $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.
LA Galaxy Trade A.J. DeLaGarza To Houston Dynamo For GAM And TAM
DeLaGarza was drafted by the Galaxy in 2009 and has spent his entire career with the club. In eight seasons, he made 204 appearances and 196 MLS regular season starts. He is a three-time MLS Cup Champion, winning the championship with LA in 2011, 2012, and 2014.
LA Galaxy general manager Peter Vagenas had this to say: “This decision was extremely difficult to make. A.J. is a champion and will always mean so much to this club, this city and our fans. We thank him for his many contributions to the Galaxy and know he will forever be a part of our family. With that said, we feel that this will give us flexibility to strengthen our roster going forward with the use of additional allocation money.”
DeLaGarza has been a fan favorite for years and one of the most versatile defenders in the league, despite being only 5’9″. He spent time playing at all four back line positions. Early on in his career, he was partnered with fellow 2009 Galaxy draft pick, Omar Gonzalez, at center back. The two had one of the best records as a starting center back pair during that period.
The Maryland grad spent the latter part of his career as a full back, primarily at right back. He and his wife lost their infant Luca just a month after he was born in September 2014. This inspired his teammates and fans to start the #LucaKnowsHeart movement. He was the starting right back for the 2014 MLS Cup final. The Galaxy won the match with DeLaGarza playing one of the best games of his career.
The defender spent part of 2016 on the bench, backing up Ashley Cole and Robbie Rogers. He joins the Dynamo as an obvious choice to start at right back or even center back. He can now help anchor a defense that needs improvement and senior leadership to succeed in 2017.