The Houston Dynamo have lost a player to free agency as first choice right back A.J. DeLaGarza has moved on from the Bayou City to take his talents to Miami. A.J. penned a classy tweet saying goodbye and he will be missed.
Memories will last forever... orange. Thanks to everyone who stood behind me through my ups and downs. Thank you for welcoming my family and supporting us like Houstonians do. I know the future is bright in H-Town and I wish the @houstondynamo nothing but the best. #ForeverOrange pic.twitter.com/jYSmasx4uu— AJ DeLaGarza (@AJD_20) December 2, 2019
After three seasons of playing with the Dynamo, DeLaGarza began to see some decline in minutes due to the signing of José Bizama who came to Houston to provide support behind AJ. DeLaGarza was a huge part of this Dynamo team and his absence in the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs highlighted exactly how much he meant to this team.
That year Houston was back in the playoffs after missing out three seasons in a row and we somehow made a miracle run to the Conference Finals. DeLaGarza tore his ACL in the final game of the regular season and teams repeatedly attacked our right side of the defense with Jalil Anibaba and Adolfo Machado getting regular starts. Matching up with the Seattle Sounders in the Conference Finals, they took advantage of DeLaGarza’s absence and utilized that as their go-to strategy for finding space behind to score ending Houston’s run.
Apart from being a good player, A.J. DeLaGarza was nothing but class off the field. He was always open with the media and with fans and quickly embraced Houston when he was traded here back in 2017. His organization Luca Knows Heart, named in memory of his son, is aimed at raising awareness for those with congenital heart defects shows his leadership off the field.
DeLaGarza wasn’t in Houston a very long time, but he made a lasting impression and is, as he put it, forever orange. What are some of your favorite memories of A.J.’s time in Houston? Let us know below!