Carson, CA – The LA Galaxy announced today that 26 year old defender AJ DeLaGarza to a multi-year contract extension. In 2009 the LA Galaxy drafted AJ with the Number 17 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Maryland.
Since joining the LA Galaxy AJ DeLaGarza has played in 155 total games (started 150) and has amassed over 13,100 minutes. He’s scored 2 career goals, 3 assists, and has become the most versatile players on the bench.
During the 2014 season AJ has played in 28 games (started 27) and competed for 2,400 minutes. He has 2 assists. He’s also played every position on defense this year – right, left, centrally. It’s his versatility and his ability to anticipate plays that has twice seen him win LA Galaxy Defender of the year (2012, 2014).
“We’re thrilled to sign A.J. to a multi-year contract. 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.” LA Galaxy Head Coach / General Manager Bruce Arena
A GOOD SIGNING FOR THE LA GALAXY?
Absolutely! AJ DeLaGarza is the perfect compliment to the larger central defenders the LA Galaxy like to utilize. Whether paired with Leonard or, his University of Maryland teammate, Omar Gonzalez, AJ adds quickness, speed and anticipation. He’s capable of marking attacking players nearly twice his size and his consistency along with his on-field calmness are major reasons the LA Galaxy have played for 3 MLS Cups since 2009.
He’s a great locker room presence, even if he is known as a practical jokester. He’s proven himself durable, reliable and extremely talented on the defensive side of the ball. While many will claim his height limits his overall potential, I would imagine he wouldn’t have learned how to read the game as well as a much bigger player.
This is a great signing for the team and I’m sure they expect, as we all do, that AJ will remain in a Galaxy kit for years to come.