The LA Galaxy announced on Thursday they have signed defender Eriq Zavaleta through the end of the 2022 season, with a club option for 2023.
The 29-year-old is an MLS veteran. Starting his career with the Seattle Sounders, being drafted in 2013 out of Indiana University, he was loaned out to NASL side San Antonio Scorpions, before getting real time on loan with Chivas USA in 2014. In 2015, he was acquired by Toronto FC and spent seven seasons there, making over 120 appearances and winning a domestic treble with the Reds in 2017.
Zavaleta was born and raised in the United States, but his father was an El Salvador international and Eriq is as well, making 15 appearances for la selecta to date.
“Eriq is an experienced defender who brings more leadership and championship pedigree to our back line,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney in a team statement. “We welcome him to the team and look forward to integrating him into the group.”
This move had been rumored during preseason and Vanney had demurred at the time, but Zavaleta was not in TFC’s plans this season and Zavaleta and Vanney are close...in fact they are related, as the player is Vanney’s nephew. Having said that, Zavaleta has a long track record in MLS, and he will provide depth at center back for LA, while probably getting a few games himself to see if he can move up the depth chart. The Galaxy defense has been stout to start the season, but we know that was a big question mark coming into the season. We’ll see where he slots into the group in LA.
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