Soccer  

LAFC close to signing USMNT defender Aaron Long

United States center back Aaron Long is close to finalizing a deal to join LAFC, a league source told ESPN.

Long has 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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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.

The move was first reported by MLSSoccer.com, which added that Inter Miami SC and the 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.