A.J. DeLaGarza has long been a prominent figure in US soccer circles, playing 14 years professionally thus far. Before being drafted in the 2nd Round (19th Overall) in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by the Los Angeles Galaxy, DeLaGarza had an incredibly accomplished tenure at the University of Maryland, where he and fellow Q30 athlete and current Revolution teammate Omar Gonzalez anchored the Terps’ defense to two National Championships in 2005 and 2008.
Entering pro soccer with the Galaxy alongside the likes of Landon Donovan and David Beckham, DeLaGarza had the opportunity to win the MLS Cup 3 times (2011, 2012 & 2014). After leaving Los Angeles for the Houston Dynamo via trade in 2017, DeLaGarza enjoyed successful both there and in his brief tenue with Inter Miami CF.
On the international stage, DeLaGarza has represented the United States for two international friendly matches, but also made fourteen appearances with Guam's National Team. For Guam, DeLaGarza started both of their first-ever World Cup Qualifying victories.
If you’re not playing soccer or training, what will we find you doing?
“You would find me at home with my family. With 3 young girls I enjoy watching them grow every day. Walking in the front door after trainings or road trips always puts a smile on my face and makes me appreciate them at their young age. We love going on walks around the neighborhood and getting ice cream after dinner!”
What is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
“The 2014 MLS Cup was my most memorable moment because of all that my family and I endured that entire season. Early in the season my wife and I found out our son, Luca, would be born with a congenital heart defect. We lost him when he was a week old after 3 open heart surgeries. To end the year as MLS Cup champions was a tribute to him.”
What is one achievement that you’d most like to accomplish in your career? / Is there anything else in your career that you'd like to accomplish?
“I would like to win another MLS Cup and have my name among some of the winningest players in the league’s history. Currently, I have won 3 MLS Cups and at this point in my career I just want to win, no matter what kind of role I’m playing!”
Why did you decide to wear the Q-Collar?
“I wanted to help protect my brain from repeated heading as I am a defender. Coming towards the end of my career, I also wanted to protect my future and be able to live a healthy life off the field, free of head trauma.”
When people ask what you’re wearing around your neck on the field, what do you tell them?
“I tell people that it’s a piece of equipment just like shin guards, but this protects your brain, which is the most important part of your body.”
Other than Boston, what is your favorite city to visit in the league? Why?
“I enjoy playing and visiting some of the new soccer specific stadiums like in Columbus, Cincinnati, or LAFC. But for me playing in front of LA Galaxy fans, where I spent 8 years of my playing career is my favorite stadium and city to visit. Knowing the area of the South Bay so well I like to hit all of my favorite spots while out there for a trip.”