Transfer Tracker

LA Galaxy acquire defender Lucas Calegari from Brazil's Fluminese

TRANSFER_Lucas Calegari


The LA Galaxy have acted swiftly in finding a Julián Araujo replacement, announcing Monday they’ve signed right back Lucas Calegari on loan from Brazilian powerhouse Fluminese.

The 21-year-old Brazil native has arrived through the 2023 MLS season with a purchase option; the deal was completed 10 days after Araujo was transferred for a reported $4 million to LaLiga giants FC Barcelona.

Calegari will occupy a U22 Initiative roster slot for LA, just like Araujo did.

"We are pleased to announce Lucas as the newest addition to the LA Galaxy," head coach and sporting director Greg Vanney said in a release. "Lucas is a young and talented fullback with significant experience at a high level already. We look forward to his contributions to the success of the team and supporting his continued growth as a player."

Calegari, a Brazil youth international, posted one goal and two assists across 80 games for Fluminese. He’s played extensively in the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, helping Fluminense finish third in the 2022 Brazilian Serie A table.

Calegari is LA’s fourth major addition this offseason after the club brought in midfielder Memo Rodríguez, defender Chris Mavinga and winger Tyler Boyd – all as free agents (in MLS terms or overseas). Since the Galaxy face sanctions during the Secondary Transfer Window (can’t sign players from abroad), there’s urgency to complete deals before the Primary Transfer Window closes on April 24.

Aside from Calegari, LA can also call upon Suriname international Kelvin Leerdam at right back in the wake of Araujo’s departure. Martín Cáceres could slot there, too, but Vanney’s said he prefers the Uruguay international centrally.

"Lucas is an important addition to the team," LA technical director Jovan Kirovski said in a release. "He’s an exciting profile that fits a position of need."

The Galaxy, who have also used the U22 Initiative on homegrown midfielder Efraín Álvarez and striker Dejan Joveljić, open their 2023 campaign on March 4 at FC Dallas (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). Their El Trafico/Matchday 1 tilt vs. LAFC was moved to July 4 after a weather-forced postponement.