The Los Angeles Galaxy have signed Brazilian forward Ednaldo da Conceicao (Naldo) and his countryman, midfielder Paulo Nagamura along with veteran Costa Rican defender Pablo Chinchilla, the club announced today.
Chinchilla and Conceicao, who most recently played with Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (Costa Rica) and FC Saint Gallen (Switzerland), respectively, will fill the Galaxy's third and fourth senior international roster spots. Nagamura, who was last with English Premier League side Arsenal FC, will fill the Galaxy's third youth international roster spot. All three will officially join the club pending P-1 visa approvals. Per club policy, details of the contracts were not disclosed.
"We have made some significant improvements to our roster with the acquisition of these three players," said Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton. "Each of them brings an added dimension to our club that will make us better as we compete for the MLS Cup championship in 2005."
A 6-foot-3, 172 pound forward, da Conceicao showed well with the Galaxy after being brought into the side during the club's preseason trip in Spain. He brings extensive experience in both the Brazilian and Swiss first divisions. He played for three seasons in Switzerland, opening his Swiss footballing career with top division club FC Wil in 2002. In his second season, "Naldo" played for FC Luzern and, most recently, for Saint Gallen in the Swiss first division, scoring 14 goals in 2004. From 1996-2002, he appeared for several Brazilian sides after breaking in with Fluminense 1996, among them Internacional and Tubarao FC. The forward also enjoyed a brief spell with Turkey's best-known and most popular team, Galatassary.
"Naldo displayed many good qualities the short time we saw him playing with the club in Spain," said Galaxy Head Coach Steve Sampson. "His presence should make us more dangerous in the attacking third of the field."
A 5-foot-8, 154-pound midfielder, Nagamura played his way on to the Galaxy after a solid pre-season, which included traveling with the team to Hawaii and Spain. He began his career in the fabled Sao Paulo Futebol Clube youth system and remained with that club until 2001. At that time, at age 17, his contract was purchased by Arsenal, who assigned him to their Under-19 team. He helped lead the team to the English U-19 championship, hitting home in a 5-1 thrashing of Liverpool in the final at Anfield. Later, as a member of Arsenal's reserve side from 2002-2004, the 22-year-old Nagamura played in 25 games for the Gunners and scored three goals.
"Paulo is an exceptional player, who has proven himself with us throughout preseason, and will be a great addition for our squad," said Sampson.
A 6-foot-1, 183-pound defender, Chinchilla has played a significant role with the Costa Rica national team over the last several years. He debuted for the ticos against Slovakia on February 5, 1997 and has donned his country's colors 29 times and scored one goal. Among his many highlights for his country was being selected as a member of their squad that competed in FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002 and came within a hair of earning passage to the second round. Additionally, he appeared in several matches for the ticos when present Sampson was at the helm of that country's national team.
"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."
The 26-year-old Chinchilla has spent his entire club career with "La Liga", and has played in 181 Primera Division games since his debut on August 19, 1999 against AD Carmelita. During that time, he has scored six goals for arguably Central America's top club side - one that has captured four Primera Division titles (1999-2000, '00-'01, '01-'02 and '02-'03), one UNCAF title (2002) and one CONCACAF Champions Cup crown (2004).
The Los Angeles Galaxy are pleased to once again offer fans "The Best Seats in the House" at The Home Depot Center. For the Galaxy's first two home games in 2005 (April 9 vs. Real Salt Lake and April 23 vs. CD Chivas USA), the club will be selling 100 seats along one touchline on a first-come, first-served basis. Each ticket costs $150 and includes the actual chair the fan sits in. For more information on "The Best Seats in the House" or to purchase tickets, call the Galaxy Ticket Office toll-free at 1-877-3GALAXY.