CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy have title aspirations for the 2017 season, and because of those goals, they made the tough decision to trade defender A.J. DeLaGarza to the Houston Dynamo.

The Galaxy dealt the defender to the Dynamo in exchange for $125,000 in General Allocation Money and $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. As the club looks ahead to the 2017 campaign, Galaxy General Manager Pete Vagenas said the move was necessary to help bolster the roster.

“First of all, I think it’s important to note that these things are extremely difficult, especially when you’re talking about someone like A.J. DeLaGarza who’s been a champion in our club,” Vagenas told LA Galaxy Insider. “No one is more guarded of Galaxy lore than I am, and A.J. will remain a part of our club for many years to come. But at this time, we have to make these difficult decisions in order for us to become flexible and make some additions to our roster. We wish A.J. the best, but we couldn’t be more excited about our potential going forward.

“When we make moves like this, it’s out of necessity on our part and a look toward the future and an attempt to build a balanced roster to make sure we can win and compete for MLS Cup immediately.”

DeLaGarza spent nine years with the LA Galaxy, making 204 appearances for the club. A three-time MLS Cup champion (2011, 2012, 2014), DeLaGarza is one of just five players in club history to make over 200 appearances alongside by club legends Cobi Jones, Landon Donovan, Kevin Hartman, and Mauricio Cienfuegos.

“It’s hard. In our league and in the sport it’s difficult to retain players for a long period,” Vagenas said. “These things happen in professional sports, and it’s never easy on either side. But what I can say is that we value A.J., he was a big part of us. But we wish him nothing but the best going forward.”

After the DeLaGarza trade, Vagenas believes that the club will be bullish bolstering the roster going forward.

“We’re looking forward to adding a few pieces. I obviously think there is an intention to make it a bit younger throughout our squad, so we’ll continue to look to do that,” Vagenas said. “This move does give us some flexibility in terms of financial restraints that we had and the ability to go out and get our targets.”

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog contact him