The Ballad Of Eddie Segura

The club legend and onetime fixture along LAFC’s back line has returned

Eddie Segura training 240121

Amid all the excitement around LAFC’s season opener against Seattle and the now-infamous snow game in Utah – including the much-anticipated debuts of LAFC goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and defender Omar Campos – another player took to the pitch for the Black & Gold after a journey far longer than Lloris’ trip from England or Campos’ from Mexico. 

Eddie Segura is not new to LAFC. He’s been here since 2019. But before the Seattle game on Feb. 24, the Colombian center back had not worn the Black & Gold in a competitive match since Oct. 30, 2022, when he suffered a knee injury during LAFC’s win over the Galaxy in the Western Conference Semifinal. 

Two weeks ago when Segura, 27, checked into the Seattle game, there was no soaring applause, no acknowledgement from the BMO Stadium PA announcer. Segura’s return to football was as quiet and understated as his departure from the game had been 16 months earlier.


Born and raised in Pereira, Colombia, Segura joined LAFC in 2019 from top-flight Colombian club Atlético Huila. A central defender by trade, Segura quickly became an indispensable member of the 2019 LAFC team that set or equaled the MLS records for single-season points and goals scored. While Carlos Vela was bagging a league-record 34 goals that year on his way to MLS MVP and Golden Boot honors, the Black & Gold defense was quietly going about its business, conceding a league-low 37 goals. Segura, who led the club with 2,995 minutes played that year, was a big part of that. Maybe the biggest. 

In 2020 he started every match of the shortened COVID season, leading the Club again in minutes played while taking time out to read to locked-down children online. Moments like that were what endeared Segura to LAFC’s burgeoning fan base. 

Before and after the pandemic Segura could always be found post-match, mingling with fans, chatting with people he’d never met as if they were relatives from Pereira. LAFC’s staff didn’t need to invite him to community events. Segura just showed up, always beaming. Scroll through his Instagram account (@eddiesegura02), where the only photos of him that don’t feature his wide, toothy grin are action shots taken mid-match, when he was wearing a warrior’s scowl. 

Segura was in the midst of an LAFC-record streak of 82 consecutive games played when he suffered his initial knee injury on July 24, 2021, during a home match against Vancouver. He finished that match on his feet, not realizing he’d torn his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Following surgery, he spent more than a year rehabbing, and eventually returned to play the final 14 games of the 2022 season, lifting the Supporters’ Shield with his teammates after the regular-season finale. 

Then LAFC’s biggest rivals came to Los Angeles for the conference semifinal.

Eddie Segura v LAG 221020


As with his prior injury, it’s impossible to tell on the game tape when Segura got hurt. He played all 90 minutes of that playoff match against the Galaxy. It was Segura’s long ball to Diego Palacios that set up the corner kick preceding Chicho Arango’s dramatic, stoppage-time gamewinner.  And it was Segura who made one last clearance with his head before the full-time whistle, not realizing that his right ACL had been re-injured sometime during the previous two hours. He missed the Conference Final against Austin and of course the epic MLS Cup final victory over Philadelphia Union.

This time his ACL tear required two surgeries to repair, followed by more than a year of rehabilitation. During his recovery, LAFC re-signed him in the middle of the 2023 season— a season that ended with another MLS Cup final that Segura watched, instead of played.


Segura was the first player to show up on the morning of January 20, 2024, when LAFC began training for this season. “Eddie Segura looks fantastic,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said that week. “Having him come back will really be like a new signing for us.

Eddie Segura training 240120

“What a professional, what a guy, and what a player,” Thorrington added. “Aside from Eddie and his family, there will be nobody more excited to see Eddie back on that field than myself and our staff.”

After Segura saw his first preseason action against St. Louis on Feb. 7, head coach Steve Cherundolo told reporters that “the best thing that happened today was [Eddie’s] return. He is going to help us a lot. It’s incredible to see him come back … He’s an important person in our group.” 

“It's been a couple of hard years,” Segura said that day (in Spanish), “recovering, working hard on my recovery, but now we're here. We turn the page. I'm very happy to be able to step on the pitch with my teammates. It's been a while.”

When Segura came on during stoppage time of the season-opening, 2-1 win over Seattle, he was immediately called upon to clear a threatening cross toward LAFC’s far post. Like the old days, he shouted instructions to his fellow defenders. Once again, he made the final headed clearance that sealed an important win.

It seemed as if Eddie Segura had never left LAFC. He hadn’t. He was always here, humbly waiting for the moment when he could once again help his club win.

LAFC’s 2024 season resumes on Saturday, March 9, with a home game against Sporting Kansas City at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. 

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