Midfielder Juninho Retires from Professional Soccer
LOS ANGELES - 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 Finals 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 its 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
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
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
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
• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...
Major League Soccer Stories from June 30, 2020
- The Countdown Is On: Rapids Prepare for Travel to Orlando and Opening Match vs RSL - Colorado Rapids
- Rapids Sign Veteran Midfielder Collen Warner to a One-Year Contract - Colorado Rapids
- Sounders FC Signs Midfielder Shandon Hopeau as Homegrown Player - Seattle Sounders FC
- FC Cincinnati Commits $250,000 to the FC Cincinnati Foundation to Support Programs Addressing Racial Disparities - FC Cincinnati
- Shalrie Joseph Added to New England Revolution Academy Coaching Staff - New England Revolution
- MLS Opens Application Process for Top Youth Clubs to Join New Elite Player Development Platform - MLS
- Midfielder Juninho Retires from Professional Soccer - LA Galaxy
- Special Olympics Massachusetts and New England Revolution Announce 2020 Unified Team for "Unified We Play" Virtual Competition - New England Revolution
- Inside Inter Miami: Club Docuseries to Premiere on July 1 - Inter Miami CF
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent LA Galaxy Stories
- LA Galaxy Name Kevin Hartman Director of the LA Galaxy Academy
- LA Galaxy to Host Drive-In Watch Party at the Rose Bowl Stadium on July 13 for Opening Match in MLS Is Back Tournament
- LA Galaxy to Feature Herbalife Nutrition and Dignity Health on Jersey Sleeves During MLS Is Back Tournament
- LA Galaxy Midfielder Jonathan dos Santos to Miss MLS Is Back Tournament in Orlando Due to Injury
- LA Galaxy Add Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas to LA Galaxy Academy Coaching Staff