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Houston Dynamo acquire A.J. DeLaGarza from LA Galaxy

The Houston Dynamo acquired defender A.J. DeLaGarza from the LA Galaxy in exchange for $125,000 in General Allocation Money and $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, the club announced today.

“We are extremely pleased to add A.J. DeLaGarza to the Houston Dynamo. He is an outstanding player, a consummate professional and a true leader both on and off the field,” said Dynamo Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “His championship experience and winning mentality will be a welcomed addition to our club.”

DeLaGarza won three MLS Cup championships (2011, 2012 and 2014) with the Galaxy and appeared in 204 games over eight seasons, starting 196 matches and accumulating 17,249 minutes. He also has 16 career playoff appearances with 13 starts, including starts in the 2011 and 2014 MLS Cup finals.

“A.J. DeLaGarza is an excellent player and an excellent person, and we are really pleased and really excited because we’re bringing a wonderful player that no doubt, is going to important for the Houston Dynamo,” said Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera. “He has won championships with the LA Galaxy; he will bring that pedigree, stability, a high level of play and a new energy to the locker room that will make the team better in all aspects.”

DeLaGarza, 29, was named the Galaxy Defender of the Year during their 2014 Cup-winning campaign after he played in every position on the backline as the club allowed a league-low 35 goals in the regular season.  He appeared in 24 games for the Galaxy last season, starting 23.

The defender was also named the Galaxy Defender of the Year in 2012 after he started 30 games that included a seven-game undefeated streak en route to the MLS Cup Championship.

Off the field, DeLaGarza was named the 2014 MLS Works Humanitarian of the Year for his work with the LA Galaxy Foundation and other initiatives in the Los Angeles community.  The defender and his wife Megan DeLaGarza helped raise $25,000 to fund heart care and research through the Luca Knows Heart campaign.

In addition to his MLS Cup championships, the Maryland native won two NCAA National Championships at the University of Maryland.

General Allocation Money is money that is available to a club in addition to its salary budget. Each MLS club receives an annual allotment of General Allocation Money, which can be traded by clubs. Allocation Money can be used to “buy-down” a player’s salary budget charge as part of managing a team’s roster, including buying a salary budget charge below the League maximum of $457,500.

General Allocation Money can also be used to sign players new to MLS (that is, a player who did not play in MLS during the previous season); to re-sign an existing MLS player; to off-set acquisition costs (loan and transfer fees); in connection with the extension of a player’s contract for the second year provided the player was new to MLS in the immediately prior year; or to reduce the Salary Budget Charge of a Designated Player to a limit of $150,000.

Targeted Allocation Money may be used in four ways:

  1. Clubs may use the funds to sign a new player provided his salary and acquisition costs are more than the maximum salary budget.
  2. Clubs may re-sign an existing player provided he is earning more than the maximum salary budget.
  3. Clubs may use a portion of or all of the available Targeted Allocation Money to convert a Designated Player to a non-Designated Player by buying down his salary budget charge to at or below the maximum salary budget charge. If Targeted Allocation Money is used to free up a Designated Player slot, the club must simultaneously sign a new Designated Player at an investment equal to or greater than the player he is replacing.
  4. A club retains the flexibility to convert a player bought down with Targeted Allocation Money into a Designated Player if that club has a free Designated Player slot.
  5. Clubs may trade their Targeted Allocation Money to another club.

Transaction: The Houston Dynamo acquire D A.J. DeLaGarza from the LA Galaxy for $125,000 in General Allocation Money and $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.