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Former Galaxy defender Leonardo signs with USL's Orange County Soccer Club

Former Galaxy defender Leonardo signs with USL's Orange County Soccer Club
Galaxy defender Leonardo, right, and Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi battle for the ball on Oct. 18, 2015. (Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

Former Galaxy defender Leonardo has signed with the USL’s Orange County Soccer Club, pending league and federation approval.

Leonardo, 31, whose full name is Jose Leonardo Ribeiro da Silva, has spent the past nine years in MLS with the Galaxy and Houston Dynamo, making 139 regular-season appearances. He won three MLS Cups and a Supporters Shield with the Galaxy and was part of the best defense in franchise history in 2010 and 2011 when the Galaxy gave up 26 and 28 goals, respectively

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The Brazilian center back was voted the team’s defender of the year in 2015.

"He is a top-notch professional both on and off the field,” OCSC coach Braeden Cloutier said in a statement. “He will be a fantastic addition to our team and back line."

Leonardo made a career-high 30 appearances and 29 starts in his first season in Houston in 2017, helping the club to the MLS Western Conference finals. He continued his success with the club in 2018, winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in Dynamo history.

OCSC, which opened the 2019 season with a 2-2 draw with Reno 1868 last weekend, plays its first home game Saturday against Tulsa at the Orange County Great Park.

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