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Jul 19, 2008

L.A. Galaxy release veteran defender Xavier

LOS ANGELES, July 19 (MLS) - The Los Angeles Galaxy have released former Portugal defender Abel Xavier.

The Major League Soccer club announced the decision after receiving visa clearance for their new signing, Argentinian centre-back Eduardo Dominguez, ahead of Saturday night's league match at the New York Red Bulls.

'Abel has been a wonderful professional at our club and I want to personally thank him for coming to Los Angeles and being a part of the Galaxy family,' Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas said.

'We wish him continued success in what has already been a long and storied career. This was a difficult decision, but it was necessary.'

Xavier, 35, joined the Galaxy from Middlesbrough in June 2007, a month before David Beckham arrived. He had spent 17 seasons in Europe with Benfica in his native Portugal, Everton and Liverpool in England, Bari and Roma in Italy, as well as stops in Germany (Hannover), Holland (PSV Eindhoven), Spain (Real Ovideo) and Turkey (Galatasaray),.

Capped 20 times by Portugal, the defender played 20 games for the Galaxy, including 10 times from a possible 16 matches this season.

Xavier's replacement Dominguez, 29, goes straight into the Galaxy squad for Saturday's night's game at Giants Stadium having trained with his new team-mates all week.

He has spent his career playing in Argentina and Colombia since beginning his career in 1996 at Velez Sarsfield, also taking in spells at Olimpo, Racing Club, Independiente and Colombian side Medellin before joining Argentinian outfit Huracan in February.

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