LOS ANGELES (Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019) – The LA Galaxy have signed defender Diego Polenta, the club announced today. Polenta, 27, joins the Galaxy after playing for Club Nacional de Football in Uruguay’s Primera División, where he appeared in 136 matches across all competitions, including Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and league contests. Polenta, who was acquired using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), will occupy an International roster spot and will be added officially following the receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa.
“Diego is a strong and gifted defender in his prime that we believe can become a top defender in Major League Soccer,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese. “He has experience playing at a very high level in Uruguay and he will contribute to an area of need in our defense. We are excited to add him to our roster and look forward to integrating him into our team as we prepare for the upcoming season.”
Polenta originally signed with Italy’s Genoa in Serie A after featuring for Uruguay’s Danubio in the youth Academy. He was loaned to Serie B’s Bari in 2012, where he featured prominently for the club before joining Uruguay’s Nacional in 2014 before going on to make 136 appearances and become one of the top defenders in the league.
In 2014, his first season with Nacional, Polenta led his side to capture the Uruguayan Primera División title while being named the Defensive Player of The Year that season. Two years later, Polenta and his side capture his second league title before being named captain of the squad. In 2017, the central defender helped his club capture the Torneo Intermedio.
In all, Polenta featured in competitions across Uruguay’s Primera División, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, Torneo Intermedia and Campeonato Uruguayo Especial during his time with the club.
Internationally, the centerback has represented Uruguay on various youth levels and earned various call ups to the senior Uruguay National Team. Since 2008, he has played for the Uruguay U-17, U-20 and U-23 sides, making 37 total appearances and featuring the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 2011 U-20 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Polenta and the LA Galaxy will begin with the 2019 Home Opener at Dignity Health Sports Park when the Galaxy host Chicago Fire on Saturday, March 2 at 5 p.m. PT. Tickets to that match are on sale now, available here.
Transaction: LA Galaxy sign defender Diego Polenta using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM)
Name: Diego Polenta
Weight: 192 lbs.
Born: Feb. 6, 1992
Last Club: Club Nacional de Football (Uruguay)
Hometown: Montevideo, Uruguay
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay