LAFC signs United States defender Aaron Long

ByKyle Bonagura ESPN logo
Thursday, January 5, 2023

United States center back Aaron Long has finalized a deal to join LAFC, the Major League Soccer club announced on Wednesday.

Long spent the last seven seasons with the New York Red Bulls, where he blossomed into one of the league's best defenders. He was the MLS Defender of the Year in 2018 and has been capped 29 times by the national team, serving as captain five times.

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"Aaron is among the top central defenders in MLS and the U.S. National Team pool, and we are incredibly excited he has chosen to come to LAFC," LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington said. "We are confident that Aaron's ability and experience will prove to be an important part of our continued success as a club. I would like to thank his representative, Shaun Higgins, for his help throughout the process. Our supporters and entire organization look forward to welcoming Aaron, his wife Elise, and their family to LA."

Long, whose contract with the Red Bulls expired at the end of the 2022 season, was an unused substitute for the U.S. in all four World Cup matches in Qatar. added that Inter Miami SC and Seattle Sounders FC also sought to sign Long as a free agent.

Long grew up in Southern California and played college soccer for UC Riverside. LAFC is coming off one of the best seasons in MLS history when the club won the Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup.