After teasing a new arrival late last night, LA Galaxy today revealed who would be joining the club. Team legend and three-time MLS Cup winner for the Galaxy, defender A.J. DeLaGarza, has returned to Los Angeles. The 34-year-old however, isn't staying long. In fact he's staying just long enough to hang up his boots.
Officially, Forever a @AJD_20 signs a one-day contract and retires with the LA Galaxy.— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) November 17, 2022
: https://t.co/rtSXbt1YcF pic.twitter.com/laBbsLZtDT
Galaxy announced today they have signed the defender to a one-day contract, as he retires a member of the LA Galaxy. “I am eternally grateful to have been a part of this club and when I thought about how I wanted to step away from the game, I knew I wanted it to be as a member of the LA Galaxy,” said DeLaGarza in a statement. “Beyond the trophies, the relationships with the fans, my teammates and staff throughout my career are ones I will cherish forever. Officially, Forever a G.”
“A.J. has left an incredible legacy at the LA Galaxy during his eight years with the club,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein in a statement. “A.J. laid the blueprint for what it means to be a Galaxy player on and off the field with his leadership and passion for our organization. We wish A.J. and his family all the best in his retirement and thank him for his many contributions to our club. A.J. will forever be a part of the LA Galaxy family.”
An illustrious 14 year MLS career comes to a close with plenty of trophies, and helping to build a legacy for the Galaxy. DeLaGarza tallied three goals and seven assists in 250 appearances (238 starts) in eight seasons played across all competitions with the LA Galaxy (2009 – 16), where he won three MLS Cups (2011, 2012, 2014) and two Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011). Additionally, DeLaGarza was a two-time LA Galaxy Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014) and was named the MLS Humanitarian of the Year in 2014 as result of his work with the Luca Knows Heart and with other organizations.
DeLaGarza and his wife, Megan, founded Luca Knows Heart, named in honor of their son, to raise awareness for congenital heart defects and to support those affected. Notably, DeLaGarza’s 204 regular-season appearances rank fifth all-time in Galaxy history. The defender is one of just five players to make over 200 regular-season appearances for the Galaxy, alongside Cobi Jones, Landon Donovan, Kevin Hartman and Mauricio Cienfuegos.
In addition to his time with the Galaxy, DeLaGarza won the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with Houston Dynamo FC and won the Supporters’ Shield with the New England Revolution during the 2021 campaign. Across his 14-year career in Major League Soccer, the Bryans Road, Md., native logged two goals and nine assists in 280 career regular-season appearances (267 starts) with the LA Galaxy (2009 – 16), Houston Dynamo FC (2018 – 19), Inter Miami CF (2020) and the New England Revolution (2021 – 22). At the collegiate level, DeLaGarza played four seasons with the University of Maryland, where he helped the Terrapins win the NCAA Championship in 2005 and 2008.
We would like to wish DeLaGarza congratulations on a legendary MLS career, and getting to retire with the squad he feels most at home with. We also wish him all the best in the next chapter!
What’s your favorite A.J. memory or moment? Leave a comment below!