The LA Galaxy have announced that Defender of the Year A.J. DeLaGarza has been signed to a multi-year extension. DeLaGarza was drafted by Bruce Arena with the 17th overall pick in the 2009 MLS Draft. He's made 155 appearances as 150 starts in six seasons with LA, sharing center back duties with college teammate Omar Gonzalez. DeLaGarza and Gonzalez were in the same entry class with Robbie Rogers at Maryland, but Rogers chose to go pro after one year.
"We're thrilled to sign A.J. to a multi-year contract," LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena said. "He is one of the most versatile defenders in MLS and has been an important part of our club's success both on and off the field over the past six years. We look forward to A.J.'s continued leadership as a member of the LA Galaxy."
DeLaGarza has played every position on the Galaxy back line this season, beginning as a positional replacement for Sean Franklin before returning to his old standby at center back and filling in at left back when injuries required it. Being able to fit in wherever needed is also what's helped him work so well with Gonzalez, filling in the spaces left as Gonzalez patrols further upfield.
With Omar Gonzalez on a DP contract, this extension leaves LA with the center back position locked down for the next few years.