Chinchilla, Naldo, Nagamura join L.A.
The Los Angeles Galaxy made a flurry of roster moves Tuesday, signing Costa Rican defender Pablo Chinchilla and Brazilians Ednaldo da Conceicao ("Naldo") and Paulo Nagamura.
Chinchilla joins fellow tico Michael Umaña on the Galaxy back line after several years in the Costa Rican Primera Division. The 26-year-old has played in 181 games for Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, notching six goals and helping the club capture four league titles, one UNCAF title and last year's CONCACAF Champions' Cup.
Galaxy head coach Steve Sampson knows Chinchilla personally, having coached him with the Costa Rican national team. Overall, Chinchilla has made 29 appearances for his country. He was selected for the squad that traveled to the 2002 World Cup but did not make an appearance.
"Pablo has already demonstrated that he belongs at the highest level," said Sampson. "His presence will certainly add depth to our backline and push his teammates to achieve greater heights."
A forward, Naldo joined the Galaxy during its preseason trip to Spain and impressed Sampson and his coaching staff. At 6-foot-3, the 29-year-old adds height to a talented group of forwards that already includes 2002 league MVP Carlos Ruiz, Jovan Kirovski and second-year striker Joseph Ngwenya.
Naldo has spent the last three seasons in Switzerland, playing most recently for Saint Gallen and scoring 14 goals during the 2004 season. From 1996-2002, he played for several Brazilian teams, including Fluminense.
Nagamura also joined the Galaxy during preseason, traveling with the club on its trips to Hawaii and Spain. The 22-year-old midfielder came up through the youth system at Brazilian power Sao Paulo with players like Kaká and former Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Saragosa, and in 2002, he was sold to English Premier League club Arsenal.
In 15 matches with Arsenal's reserve squad from 2002-2004, Nagamura scored twice and helped the Arsenal under-19 team to a group title in England's F.A. Academy U-19 championship.
"Paulo is an exceptional player, who has proven himself with us throughout preseason, and will be a great addition for our squad," Sampson said.
Both Chinchilla and Naldo will count as senior internationals, meaning the Galaxy have reached their limit of four. Nagamura fills the club's third and final transitional international spot.
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.