Days following losing center back Eddie Segura to a knee surgery at the end of the season, LAFC took a vast step towards filling that gap by acquiring Nigerian-American defender Sebastian Ibiga from New York City for $150,000 in general provision money.
New York will receive an additional $50,000 in LAFC allotment funds if positive incentives are met.
Ibiga, 29, was the best defender in Serie A for San Antonio in 2017, then spent the final 3 seasons in New York, where he played 64 games. Born in Nigeria and moved to the United States when he was nine, Ibiga has also played in Denmark and Iceland and made seven appearances for the US Under-20 team.
A powerful defender who rarely makes mistakes, he played at the Houston Dynamos youth academy and trained with the first team prior going on to play college football at Duke. At 6-foot-2, the LAFC backline gives the depth and big body it lacks. Tristan Blackmon, who is 6 feet 1 high, is currently the tallest player on the team.
The team recently earned $1.75 million in general allocation money from deals that sent Mark Anthony Kay to Colorado and Cory Bird to Houston. Ibeagha will earn $177,125 this season, according to numbers provided by MLS Players Assn.
“Seeb has been a truly significant member of our team since joining in 2018, playing a vital role on and off the field for our organization, and we will sincerely miss him,” New York City athletic director David Lee said in a statement. “He has been a reliable presence in our defense and influence in the locker room and throughout the community embodying the values we want our players to have. We wish him all the best at LAFC and throughout the rest of his career.”
Ibeagha requires a place on the international list. He is expected to be ready to pick this weekend when LAFC (6-6-5), who have not won in their final four games, play in San Jose on Sunday.