Transfer Tracker

LA Galaxy sign defender Mauricio Cuevas from Club Brugge

TRANSFER_Mauricio Cuevas


The LA Galaxy have brought US youth international defender Mauricio Cuevas back to the club, announcing Wednesday they’ve signed the 20-year-old from Belgian side Club Brugge.

Cuevas, 20, is under contract through the end of the 2025 MLS season with two club option years through 2027.

He previously departed for Europe in January 2022 after coming through LA’s academy. The versatile fullback had tallied four goals and five assists in 21 games for LA Galaxy II, their reserve side that now competes in MLS NEXT Pro.

While in Belgium, Cuevas recorded two assists across 23 games for Club NXT, Club Brugge’s development squad that competes in the country’s second division.

"We are pleased to welcome Mauricio back to the LA Galaxy family," head coach and sporting director Greg Vanney said in a statement. "We have always appreciated Mauricio’s talent and his passion for the club. He’s a versatile fullback that will contribute to the team while continuing to develop as a player."

Cuevas, formally signed before the league’s Primary Transfer Window closed Monday night, has been a staple of the USA U-20 squad that’s heading to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina later this month. He’s often captained head coach Mikey Varas’ team, including at last summer’s Concacaf U-20 Championship

For the Galaxy, Cuevas could feature at either outside back spot as LA build towards the future. He’s their third fullback addition this transfer window after the Western Conference club previously acquired former Brazil youth international Lucas Calegari and Argentine youth international Julián Aude – two U22 Initiative players. Calegari is on loan from Fluminese through the 2023 MLS season with a purchase option, while Aude arrived from Lanús on a permanent transfer.

Cuevas joins US youth international teammate Jalen Neal at the Galaxy. The 19-year-old homegrown center back has emerged as a first-choice option early into the 2023 MLS season.

With the Primary Transfer Window over, LA now face transfer sanctions where they can’t sign players from abroad during the summer window. They’ll still be able to add domestic-based players during the Secondary Transfer Window (July 5 to Aug. 2) since an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) isn’t arriving from overseas.

LA are off to a slow start in 2023, sitting second-from-bottom in the West (1W-4L-3D record) through Matchday 9 as supporter-led protests have created tension around the club.