Midfielder Juninho retires from professional soccer

LOS ANGELES (Tuesday, June 30, 2020) – Former LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho announced his retirement from professional soccer today. The 31-year-old Brazilian ends his professional career with as one of the most successful midfielders in club history, helping the club capture two MLS Supporters’ Shields and three MLS Cup victories. His 189 appearances for the club are the second-most of any midfielder, trailing only Mauricio Cienfuegos (206).

“I am extremely proud of my career and all that I have accomplished, but it is time for me to step away from playing and move on to the next chapter,” said Juninho. “I have been fortunate to play this game professionally for over 10 years and am grateful to all of my coaches, teammates and fans I have met along the way. Each of you have played a pivotal role in my life and I have formed friendships that will last forever. Thank you to São Paolo, Chicago Fire, Club Tijuana and especially the LA Galaxy – where I made the best memories of my career – for all your support. I am honored to represent Los Angeles for this club and help us capture three MLS Cups.”

During his professional career in MLS with the LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire, Juninho made 210 total appearances with 197 starts while scoring 19 goals and recording 25 assists during over 17,000 minutes. In postseason play, the central midfielder recorded an additional 21 appearances, 20 starts, one goal and four assists.

As a member of the LA Galaxy, the 2015 MLS All-Star helped the club capture the 2010 and 2011 MLS Supporters’ Shields and the 2011, 2012 and 2014 MLS Cups. His decisive goal against Seattle Sounders FC in the 2014 MLS Western Conference Championship second leg earned the Galaxy a spot in the 2014 MLS Cup, where they became the first club in MLS history to secure five MLS Cup victories.

As a member of the LA Galaxy, Juninho’s 189 appearances are the eighth-most in club history and the second-most of any midfielder, trailing only Cobi Jones (306), Landon Donovan (253), Kevin Hartman (243), Mauricio Cienfuegos (206), A.J. DeLaGarza (204), Todd Dunivant (193) and Greg Vanney (193). His 180 starts are also the eighth-most in LA Galaxy history, and his 23 assists are the ninth-most in club history.

Juninho originally joined the Galaxy on loan from São Paolo at the beginning of the 2010 season. He remained with the club during it’s most successful run in club history before joining club Tijuana in 2016. He returned to finish his career as a member of the LA Galaxy for the 2019 season.

Born in São José dos Campos, Brazil, he first played for various São Paulo youth sides beginning in 2004, capturing a U-17 Paulista Championship side in 2006. After signing with the senior São Paulo side in 2008, he spent the 2009 season on loan with Brazil’s Toledo. In 2010, he joined the LA Galaxy on loan before signing a permanent deal with the club in 2013. Following the 2015 season, Juninho joined Liga MX side Club Tijuana, where he made 20 appearances from 2016-2019. His time with Club Tijuana included a loan to Chicago Fire FC in 2017.

LA Galaxy Club Records

GAMES STARTED

PLAYER/GS

Cobi Jones – 281

Kevin Hartman – 238

Landon Donovan – 237

Mauricio Cienfuegos – 198

A.J. DeLaGarza – 196

Todd Dunivant – 188

Greg Vanney – 182

Juninho – 180

Omar Gonzalez – 178

Peter Vagenas – 164

MINUTES PLAYED

PLAYER/MIN

Cobi Jones – 25157

Kevin Hartman – 21735

Landon Donovan – 21652

Mauricio Cienfuegos – 17710

A.J. DeLaGarza – 17249

Todd Dunivant – 16643

Greg Vanney – 16273

Omar Gonzalez – 15785

Juninho – 15621

Peter Vagenas – 14511

ASSISTS

PLAYER/GP/ASTS

Landon Donovan (253) – 107

Cobi Jones (306) – 91

Mauricio Cienfuegos (206) – 80

Robbie Keane (125) – 45

David Beckham (98) – 40

Simon Elliott (122) – 33

Ezra Hendrickson (139) – 26

Peter Vagenas (183) – 25

Juninho (189) – 23

Romain Alessandrini (61) – 22

Giovani dos Santos (77) – 22