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AJ DeLaGarza signs one-day contract to retire with LA Galaxy

AJ DeLaGarza


Longtime MLS defender AJ DeLaGarza is calling it quits on his 14-year career, but not before returning to the club where it all began for him. 

The 35-year-old signed a one-day contract on Thursday with the LA Galaxy, his first-ever team and the organization where he spent arguably his finest seasons in the league.

"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,” DeLaGarza, a three-time MLS Cup winner with Los Angeles, said. 

“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."

The 19th overall pick of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, DeLaGarza made his pro debut with the Galaxy that same year. It was the beginning of a successful eight-season run in California, where he played 250 games (238 starts) across all competitions, winning two Supporters' Shields as well as the aforementioned league titles.

DeLaGarza spent the next three years with the Houston Dynamo, winning the 2019 US Open Cup, before joining Inter Miami CF for their inaugural 2020 season. His final stop was with the New England Revolution, notching an assist in 14 regular-season games over a two-year span that also included a 2021 Supporters' Shield.

He represented both Guam (12 starts) and the United States (two starts) on the international level.

“AJ has left an incredible legacy at the LA Galaxy during his eight years with the club,” Galaxy president Chris Klein said in a press release.

“AJ 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 AJ and his family all the best in his retirement and thank him for his many contributions to our club. AJ will forever be a part of the LA Galaxy family.”