The Los Angeles Galaxy moved to address a porous back line from last season, signing Uruguayan defender Diego Polenta, the team announced Thursday.
"Diego is a strong and gifted defender in his prime that we believe can become a top defender in Major League Soccer," said Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese in a statement. "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."
The Galaxy gave up 64 goals in 2018, better than just four MLS teams. Their ability to stop the opponent was put on full display in the season finale when Los Angeles needed a victory to advance to the playoffs. They took a 2-0 lead in the first 30 minutes but ultimately fell 3-2 to the Houston Dynamo.
Polenta, 27, played the last four seasons with Club Nacional de Football in Uruguay's top division. He is a left-footed center back that played 136 matches with Nacional across all competitions. He was named defensive player of the year in 2014.
The Galaxy, which opens its season March 2 at home against the Chicago Fire, signed Polenta using targeted allocation money.