A new era is truly upon the Los Angeles Galaxy Football Club of Carson, California. Another vestige from the dominant days of the early teens is leaving the club to make way for Jermaine Jones. A.J. DeLaGarza has been a longtime servant to the Galaxy, having been a competent tandem with Omar Gonzalez. Now, with Curt Onalfo as manager, a new look to the club will see DeLaGarza take on a new challenge as a bookend for Wilmer Cabrera’s Houston Dynamo. The Galaxy are receiving $125,000 in General Allocation Money and $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.
“This decision was extremely difficult to make,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Peter Vagenas. “A.J is a champion and will always mean so much to this club, this city and our fans. We thank him for his many contributions to the Galaxy and know he will forever be a part of our family. With that said, we feel that this will give us flexibility to strengthen our roster going forward with the use of additional allocation money.”
Naturally, the business of sports is such that player movement will have to be done to ensure club stability and viability. It’s akin to the fleetingness of life, as surreal as that may be. Unsurprisingly, the move was met with extreme criticism by Galaxy supporters blind to the necessary evil that is the business of sports.
“First of all, I think it’s important to note that these things are extremely difficult, especially when you’re talking about someone like A.J. DeLaGarza who’s been a champion in our club,” Vagenas told LA Galaxy Insider’s Adam Serrano. “No one is more guarded of Galaxy lore than I am, and A.J. will remain a part of our club for many years to come.
“But at this time, we have to make these difficult decisions in order for us to become flexible and make some additions to our roster. We wish A.J. the best, but we couldn’t be more excited about our potential going forward. When we make moves like this, it’s out of necessity on our part and a look toward the future and an attempt to build a balanced roster to make sure we can win and compete for MLS Cup immediately.
“We’re looking forward to adding a few pieces. I obviously think there is an intention to make it a bit younger throughout our squad, so we’ll continue to look to do that. This move does give us some flexibility in terms of financial restraints that we had and the ability to go out and get our targets.”
Meanwhile, a young prospect, Hugo Arellano from LA Galaxy II, has now been added to the first team. A supporter of the Galaxy, Arellano now has a chance to live the dream and become big as a homegrown player.
“It’s what I wanted from when I got to this club. I want to play at the highest level with the best players. It’s such a reward, and I want to continue to work for it,” Arellano told Serrano. “If I’m not with the first team, then I can keep my sharpness and continue to improve with Galaxy II. I don’t take any games for granted, and it’s all part of the process.“
And speaking of LA Galaxy II, Mike Munoz was named the new manager of the second team and Academy product Justin Dhillon was signed to a contract with the second team.
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