TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
LAFC have signed Spanish right back Sergi Palencia through the 2024 MLS season with a 2025 option, the club announced Thursday.
The 26-year-old defender was last at Ligue 2 side Saint-Étienne, the same French club DP forward Dénis Bouanga played for before joining the Black & Gold last summer. However, Palencia spent the last several seasons on loan at Leganés, a club in Spain’s second division.
A product of FC Barcelona’s academy, Palencia should give LAFC a key option alongside versatile veteran Ryan Hollingshead as the defending MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield winners enter four competitions this year.
"Palencia is a talented defender with experience in some of the top leagues in Europe," LAFC co-president & general manager John Thorrington said in a release. "He is a great fit to what we are building at LAFC, and we are excited to welcome him to Los Angeles."
For his career, Palencia has two goals and 13 assists across 226 career club appearances. The former Spain U-21 international earned his breakthrough at Barca B, and has played in over 30 Ligue 1 games across stops with Bordeaux and Saint-Étienne.
Palencia is LAFC’s third new defender signed this offseason, joining center backs Aaron Long and Denil Maldonado. Long is a US international who arrived in free agency after captaining the New York Red Bulls, while Maldonado is on loan from Honduran top-flight powerhouse FC Motagua.
LAFC are entering their second year under head coach Steve Cherundolo. They’ll open with a Feb. 25 clash at the Rose Bowl against El Trafico rivals LA Galaxy (9:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).
READ MORE: MLS Transfer Tracker presented by Avant