If there’s anything the Revolution missed in 2020, it was quality depth in the back line. The center back pairing of Henry Kessler and Andrew Farrell played in a majority of the Revs’ contests, with two understudies in Antonio Delamea and Michael Mancienne who did not impress earlier in the season. The corners also saw band-aids applied, with Tajon Buchanan moving to right back in place of Brandon Bye, and DeJuan Jones moved to left back late in the campaign.
Now with a reset on the roster a month ago, Bruce Arena is looking to a player he knows well in A.J. DeLaGarza to come in and give when the club lacked.
DeLaGarza, a combination right back and center back, joins the Revolution on a free transfer following the end of his contract with Inter Miami.
The Revs announced the signing Thursday morning. SBISoccer.com was the first outlet to report the move late Monday.
The New England roster is now at 23 players for 2021.
“It is a pleasure to welcome A.J. DeLaGarza to the New England Revolution. I’ve known A.J. for a number of years and know he will be a great addition to our team,” Arena said in a club statement. “A.J. is an experienced defender who can play all positions across the backline. He is a great professional, an excellent communicator, and a tactically sound player. We look forward to working with him in New England.”
Per club policy, details of the contract were not announced. According to the most recent salary figures released by the MLS Players Association, DeLaGarza made $250,000 in base salary in 2019.
A 12-year veteran of Major League Soccer, DeLaGarza has made 266 league appearances split between three clubs in LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, and Inter Miami. Over 200 of those come with Arena and the Galaxy, the club that drafted him in the second round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and went on to hoist three MLS Cups and two Supporter’s Shields.
He spent three years with Houston (2017-19) and was a part of the Dynamo side that won the US Open Cup.
He made five appearances with Miami in the recently completed 2020 season.
While Arena used DeLaGarza at both center and right backs during his time with the Galaxy, Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera utilized him solely as a right back during his time in the Lone Star State.