CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy bolstered their defensive depth on Tuesday with the signing of 26-year-old outside back Emrah Klimenta, but don’t tell the defender that he’s merely coming to make up the numbers.
Klimenta arrives at StubHub Center after four highly successful seasons with USL squad Sacramento Republic. The 26-year-old Montenegrin international leaves California’s capital city with a USL title in 2014, and as the all-time leader in minutes, appearances, and starts for Republic.
His success in the USL did not go unnoticed by the Galaxy brass who were keen to bring him into the fold this offseason.
“I was with Sacramento for the last few years, and at the end of the season, my agent called me up and told me the Galaxy were interested and wanted me to train with the team for 10 days,” Klimenta told LA Galaxy Insider. “[Galaxy assistant coach] Dominic Kinnear knew me from his time at San Jose because we played with them a lot. He knew what I bring and took notice. After I trained, the Galaxy liked what they saw and offered me a deal.
“The Galaxy are the biggest club in Major League Soccer and signing with a club of that caliber is an honor,” Klimenta added. “I’m a California guy as well, so I’m very happy to stay in California and represent the best team in MLS and the best team in California as well. I’m excited to get going.”
The attack-minded outside back is the second right-sided defender signed to the Galaxy’s roster this offseason, joining Rolf Feltscher who was added last month. Klimenta is undaunted by the competition and is already prepared to duel for a starting spot.
“The position is up for grabs. I’ve come to learn in soccer that things can change fairly quickly,” Klimenta said. “I’m ready to come into the preseason and become a family with my teammates. Once you cross the lines though, it’s go time. I’m looking forward to doing everything I can for the Galaxy.”