Houston Dynamo re-sign defender A.J. DeLaGarza

The Houston Dynamo have re-signed defender A.J. DeLaGarza, the club announced today.

DeLaGarza joined the Dynamo in a draft-day trade with the LA Galaxy on January 13, 2017 and played in and started 30 of Houston’s 34 regular-season games in his first season with the club. The defender finished second on the team with 2,623 minutes played last season, and he registered a career-high three assists from his right back position.

In nine Major League Soccer seasons, DeLaGarza has played in 234 games with 226 starts and has registered two goals and seven assists. He comes into the 2018 season needing to play just 128 minutes to reach 20,000 career minutes played, and he can reach 250 career games played if he makes 16 appearances this season.

“A.J. has been an outstanding addition to our club since joining us last year. He brings a winning mentality to our group every day, and his professionalism has made a significant impact on and off the field,” said Dynamo Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “We look forward to him making a full recovery and contributing to the success of the team as we prepare for the upcoming season.”

Wearing the captain’s armband for the first time with his new club in Houston’s season finale, DeLaGarza suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the 13th minute, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. He underwent successful surgery to repair the injury on November 1 with an expected recovery period of six to nine months.

“A.J. was a key player for us during the 2017 season. Sadly, he suffered an ACL injury in the last game of the regular season, but we stand with him and we believe that he is going to recover and will be a stronger player,” said head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “We are happy to re-sign him. It is important for him to feel that the Houston Dynamo is his home, is his club and that we support him in all aspects. This is going to help him mentally and physically as he can now just focus on his recovery and be sure that he is going to be here for the long term. ”

The Bryans Road, Maryland native has experienced team success at every stop in his career, first at the University of Maryland where he won a pair of national titles, then winning three MLS Cup titles with the LA Galaxy from 2009-16, and last year helping lead the Dynamo to a playoff spot for the first time in four seasons. DeLaGarza and his team have advanced to the playoffs in every season of his professional career.

With the addition of DeLaGarza, the Dynamo now have 21 players under contract for the 2018 season. 

HOUSTON DYNAMO PLAYERS CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT

GOALKEEPERS (1)
No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
  Chris Seitz GK 11 30 6-3 236 USA
DEFENDERS (5)
No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
3 Adolfo Machado DF 1 31 6-0 160 Panama
4 Philippe Senderos DF 1 32 6-2 181 Switzerland
15 Dylan Remick DF 5 26 6-0 165 USA
16 Kevin Garcia DF 1 26 6-0 185 USA
20 A.J. DeLaGarza DF 9 30 5-9 150 Guam
21 George Malki DF 1 24 5-10 160 USA
22 Leonardo DF 8 29 6-2 185 Brazil
MIDFIELDERS (5)
No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
5 Juan David Cabezas MF 1 25 6-0 175 Colombia
6 Eric Alexander MF 8 29 6-1 165 USA
18 Memo Rodriguez MF 1 21 5-8 145 USA
25 Tomás Martínez MF 1 22 5-9 145 Argentina
27 Boniek García MF 6 33 5-9 150 Honduras
28 Charlie Ward MF 1 22 5-8 168 England
  Arturo Álvarez MF 12 32 5-9 170 El Salvador
  Eric Bird MF 1 24 5-9 174 USA
FORWARDS (5)
No. Player Pos. MLS Exp. Age Ht. Wt. FIFA Nationality
9 Erick Torres FW 5 24 5-11 168 Mexico
11 Andrew Wenger MF 6 26 6-0 185 USA
12 Romell Quioto FW 1 25 5-11 170 Honduras
17 Alberth Elis FW 1 20 6-0 165 Honduras
19 Mauro Manotas FW 3 22 6-0 155 Colombia

TRANSACTION: The Houston Dynamo re-sign DF A.J. DeLaGarza.