LOS ANGELES (Thursday, March 10, 2022) – The LA Galaxy today announced that the club has signed El Salvador international defender Eriq Zavaleta to a one-year contract through the end of the 2022 MLS regular season with a club option for 2023.
Zavaleta, 29, joins LA after logging two goals and one assist in 140 regular-season games played (109 starts) across nine seasons played in MLS for three teams: Sounders FC (2013), Chivas USA (2014) and Toronto FC (2015-21). Notably, Zavaleta was part of the treble-winning Toronto FC side that claimed MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield and the Canadian Championship in 2017 under LA Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney. In seven seasons with Toronto FC, Zavaleta registered two goals and one assist in 118 regular-season appearances (94 starts), while making 11 career appearances (9 starts) and adding one assist for Toronto in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
“Eriq is an experienced defender who brings more leadership and championship pedigree to our back line,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney. “We welcome him to the team and look forward to integrating him into the group.”
In the 2021 MLS season, Zavaleta made 14 appearances (12 starts) in 1,020 minutes played for Toronto. In 2019, when Toronto reached the MLS Cup final, Zavaleta made 16 regular-season appearances (11 starts) in 1,015 minutes played. During the 2018 campaign, the Westfield, Ind., native helped Toronto FC lift the Canadian Championship and played in 21 MLS regular-season games (16 starts) in 1,488 minutes played. Zavaleta tallied one goal in a career-high 29 regular-season appearances (27 starts) during Toronto FC’s treble-winning campaign in 2017.
In his first season with Toronto in 2015, Zavaleta tallied his first career MLS goal and made 18 regular-season appearances (11 starts) in 1,054 minutes played. In 2014 with Chivas USA, while on loan from Seattle Sounders FC, Zavaleta made 17 appearances (15 starts) in 1,323 minutes played for the defunct franchise. After being drafted by Seattle with the 10th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Zavaleta played in five games off the bench for Sounders FC during the 2013 campaign.
“Eriq has a wealth of experience in MLS and signing him provides important depth to our roster,” said LA Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski.
In his two seasons at Indiana University (2011-12), Zavaleta tallied 28 goals and nine assists in 46 games played (46 starts) as a forward. During his time as a Hoosier, Zavaleta won the NCAA College Cup in 2012, was named an NSCAA Third-Team All American in 2012 and was a two-time All-Big Ten First Team selection (2011, 2012).
At the international level, Zavaleta has tallied one goal in 15 games played (15 starts) for the El Salvador Men’s National Team since starting and making his debut in a 7-0 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands in World Cup Qualifying on June 5, 2021. In his most recent appearance for El Salvador, Zavaleta started and played 90 minutes in a World Cup Qualifier against Canada on Feb. 3, 2022.
Transaction: LA Galaxy sign free agent defender Eriq Zavaleta to a one-year contract through the end of the 2022 MLS regular season plus a club option for 2023 on March 10, 2022.
Date Of Birth: Aug. 2, 1992
Birthplace: Westfield, Ind.
Last Club: Toronto FC
Citizenship: El Salvador / USA
Acquired: Signed to a one-year contract through the end of the 2022 MLS regular season plus a club option for 2023 on March 10, 2022.