CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, April 10, 2012) – The LA Galaxy today acquired Brazilian defender David Junior Lopes from Chivas USA in exchange for midfielder Paolo Cardozo. An experienced center back who has played in South America and Europe, Lopes is in his second season in MLS. He has been added to the Galaxy roster and is eligible for selection for the club’s game on Saturday night against the Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center.
A native of Maringá, Brazil, Lopes made his professional debut with Clube Atlético Paranaense in 2002. Later that year, Lopes signed with FC Porto of Portugal, who at the time were managed by Jose Mourinho. After a short stint with Porto’s B team, he returned to Brazil for a year, signing with Iraty, before heading back to Europe in 2005 when he signed with NK Osijek of the 1. HNL, which is the first division of Croatian soccer. Following two and a half years with Osijek, Lopes moved to Russia, signing with FC Terek Grozny of the Russian Premier League for the second half of the 2008 season. Lopes was on the move again a few months later, signing with Cordoba FC of the Spanish second division ahead of the start of the 2009-10 Spanish season. He spent one season with Cordoba before heading to Romania, where he joined FC Universitatea Craiova of the Romanian Liga I for the 2010-11 campaign.
The 29-year-old signed with Chivas USA on August 12, 2011 and made his debut for the club a day later as a second half substitute in a 0-0 draw at Seattle. He went on to make eight appearances for the club, starting each of the final seven games that he played in, including their final five games of the regular season. This season, Lopes was in the 18-man squad for two of Chivas USA’s five games, but did not make a first team appearance.
Cardozo, the club’s first round draft pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft (16th overall), appeared in 18 regular season games during his time with the Galaxy. He made his MLS debut as a second half substitute during the club’s home opener last season, a 1-1 draw with New England. In addition to playing in 17 regular season games for LA last year, Cardozo also played three games in the CONCACAF Champions League and two in the U.S. Open Cup, as well as friendlies against Real Madrid and Manchester City. Cardozo’s only appearance for the Galaxy this season came in the 3-1 home loss to New England on March 31. He started and played 71 minutes in that game in midfield before being replaced by Chad Barrett.
Lopes and the Galaxy take on the Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center this Saturday, April 14. That game, which is presented by Barry’s Tickets, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and tickets are on sale now starting at just $30.
Photos of David Junior Lopes
Sarachan on Lopes Acquisition