L.A. Galaxy acquire Costa Rican international defender Michael Umaña

CARSON, CA - The Los Angeles Galaxy have acquired Costa Rican international defender Michael Umaña as a 2005 Discovery player following agreement on a multi-year loan from Club Sport Herediano of Costa Rica, the club announced today. Umaña will occupy the Galaxy's second Youth International roster spot alongside Joseph Ngwenya (Zimbabwe). The 22-year-old defender is tentatively slated to join the club following national team commitments for their preseason trip to Hawaii. Per club policy, details of the contract were not disclosed.

Umaña comes to the Galaxy from Club Sport Herediano in the Costa Rican Primera División. Herediano recently finished atop Group A in the Torneo Apertura (first half of the 2004-2005 season), earning 37 points in 16 matches, winning 11 of those encounters, tying four and suffering just one defeat.

"We are extremely excited about signing Michael Umaña," said Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton. "He is a young defender with great experience domestically in Costa Rica and internationally at the youth level."

Umaña, 22, a central defender, joins the Galaxy for the club's 2005 campaign after an extremely busy 2004. In addition to his role as the anchor of the Herediano backline throughout the year, he was called into several full national team training camps for Costa Rica. He also appeared on several occasions for the under-23 national team, including a handful under present Galaxy Head Coach Steve Sampson.

"Michael is a player I had the pleasure watching develop during my time in Costa Rica," said Sampson. "He is a solid marking back whose versatility allows him to play any position on the backline. He is on the cusp of being on the Costa Rican side competing for a place in Germany 2006."

The 6-foot, 161-pound defender played every minute in each of Costa Rica's four games in the Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004 in August, leading the Central American side to a quarterfinal berth before bowing out to eventual champions Argentina. Prior to that, he was selected to the "Best XI" in the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament to the Olympic Games played in Guadalajara, Mexico the previous February.

"I hope to do things well with my new team and respond to the confidence that has been given to me by head coach Steve Sampson," commented Umaña from Costa Rica.

Over his club career, he spent five years in the Primera Division, the last two with Herediano after launching his career at Carmelita.

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 a Decade of Stars t-shirt and 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.

TRANSACTION: Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) acquire Costa Rican defender Michael Umaña.

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