CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, February 1, 2012) – The LA Galaxy today acquired midfielder Kyle Nakazawa and a second round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for one of the Galaxy’s eight international player roster spots during the 2012 season.
A native of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., Nakazawa was selected by the Union in third round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. He made his MLS debut against the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center in May 2010 and went on to play in 14 games for the club as a rookie, making eight starts. Last year, the 23-year-old set career-highs in all statistical categories, playing in 22 matches and scoring once while adding three assists. He started 14 of those 22 games, including both games that Philadelphia played against the Galaxy. He tallied the first assist of his MLS career on May 21, 2011 in a 2-1 home win over Chicago before recording his first goal and an assist in a 6-2 road win over Toronto FC a week later. His third and final assist of the year came on July 17 in a 3-0 win at New England.
A former member of the Galaxy U-20 team, Nakazawa played four years of college soccer at UCLA, scoring 20 goals and adding 26 assists in 75 games for the Bruins. A teammate of fellow Galaxy players Brian Perk and Michael Stephens at UCLA, Nakazawa represented the U.S. at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Peru, helping his nation reach the quarterfinals by scoring two goals and adding an assist in four games at the tournament.
In exchange for Nakazawa and their natural second round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, the Union, will now receive one of the Galaxy’s international player roster slots for the upcoming season. The Galaxy will now be able to have seven international players on their roster for the upcoming season, after which the club will return one international spot to D.C. United as part of a previous trade while receiving spots back from the Union and the Portland Timbers, who also acquired an international spot from the club in a prior trade.
Nakazawa and the rest of the LA Galaxy will play their first official game of 2012 on Wednesday, March 7 when they face Toronto FC in the first leg of their 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal, which will be played at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They will open the 2012 MLS season three days later on Saturday, March 10 when they host Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center in MLS First Kick 2012, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. That game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and tickets are on sale now as part of season ticket packages as well as three and six-game plans. For more information about this game or to purchase tickets, visit www.lagalaxy.com/tickets.