Ten days after the passing for his newborn son, AJ DeLaGarza will return to the field. According to today’s report on Major League Soccer’s website, the LA Galaxy defender will be available for the team’s game on Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif., against the San Jose Earthquakes.
DeLaGarza has missed the team’s last four games after the birth and passing of his son Luca, who was born with the congenital heart condition Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. After six days on life support, Luca passed away in preparation for surgery on Sept. 4.
According to the league’s website, AJ and his wife, Megan, have spent the past week in their native Maryland, where they put Luca to rest and grieved with family. The child was the couple’s first.
DeLaGarza, a highly respected sixth-year player, has made 22 league appearances this season (21 starts). Since coming out of Maryland in 2009, the Guam international has made 149 appearances for the Galaxy, scoring two goals while winning two MLS Cups.
Without DeLaGarza, the Galaxy went 3-0-1, though over the last two games, Bruce Arena’s team has been forced to utilize a three-man defense, with injuries at fullback preventing LA from playing its normal 4-4-2 formation.
With the return of one of its core pieces, the defense can return to its normal alignment as the Galaxy try to track down first place Seattle in the Western Conference.