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. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
Chris SeitzGK11306-3236USA
DEFENDERS (5)
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
3Adolfo MachadoDF1316-0160Panama
4Philippe SenderosDF1326-2181Switzerland
15Dylan RemickDF5266-0165USA
16Kevin GarciaDF1266-0185USA
20A.J. DeLaGarzaDF9305-9150Guam
21George MalkiDF1245-10160USA
22LeonardoDF8296-2185Brazil
MIDFIELDERS (5)
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
5Juan David CabezasMF1256-0175Colombia
6Eric AlexanderMF8296-1165USA
18Memo RodriguezMF1215-8145USA
25Tomás MartínezMF1225-9145Argentina
27Boniek GarcíaMF6335-9150Honduras
28Charlie WardMF1225-8168England
Arturo ÁlvarezMF12325-9170El Salvador
Eric BirdMF1245-9174USA
FORWARDS (5)
No. PlayerPos.MLS Exp.AgeHt.Wt.FIFA Nationality
9Erick TorresFW5245-11168Mexico
11Andrew WengerMF6266-0185USA
12Romell QuiotoFW1255-11170Honduras
17Alberth ElisFW1206-0165Honduras
19Mauro ManotasFW3226-0155Colombia


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