Defender Emrah Klimenta Signs With LA Galaxy

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Emrah Klimenta of Montenegro and Maciej Rybus of Poland during the FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifying Round Group E match between Poland and Montenegro at National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland on October 8, 2017 (Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

CARSON, CALIFORNIA (January 16, 2018) – The Los Angeles Galaxy have added defensive depth in the form of defender Emrah Klimenta. The player and the club came to terms this week, the club announced today. The Montenegrin spent the last four seasons with Sacramento Republic FC in the USL.

Defender Emrah Klimenta Signs With LA Galaxy

Klimenta joined Sacramento before the start of their inaugural season (2014) after trying out for the team. In four seasons, he recorded 92 appearances, 88 starts, and 7,915 minutes. He is the all-time leader for the club in all three of those categories. Klimenta helped Republic make the USL playoffs all four years.

“Emrah has shown very well for himself in Sacramento and that he is deserving of this opportunity in MLS,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “He will be a valuable and versatile defender to have in our backline. We are very excited to welcome Emrah to our club.”

The Rožaje, Montenegro has four caps for his country internationally. He began play with them in 2016. He was a part of the country’s World Cup Qualifying later that year.

Transaction: LA Galaxy sign defender Emrah Klimenta

Name: Emrah Klimenta
Position: Defender
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 181 lbs.
Born: February 13, 1991
Age: 26
Last Club: Sacramento Republic FC
Birthplace: Rožaje, Montenegro
Nationality: United States and Montenegro

What it Means:

It’s hard to tell sometimes how a players who’s been a career player in the USL (or at least played there for a number of years) will transition to MLS. At 26-years-old, Klimenta is just now entering his prime. He’s clearly proven himself with a consistent and quality USL side. As long as he isn’t making six figures under the MLS salary budget, this seems like a good gamble on a player. Dominic Kinnear is clearly familiar with him.

Worst case scenario, he’s a bench player who provides a safety net if there are injuries. Best case scenario, he challenges for a starting role and becomes a surprise value pick up for the Galaxy.

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