Ricketts joined Orlando City for the 2015 MLS season after being selected first in the 2015 MLS Expansion Draft. He started 10 games this season while Tally Hall -- who had been acquired in a trade with the Houston Dynamo -- recovered from an ACL tear.
The initial acquisition of Ricketts was to give the team a viable starter while Hall recovered from his injury. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Jamaican went 2-5-3 in 10 starts for the Lions, keeping two clean sheets and making 21 saves, with a 1.40 goals-against average.
Orlando City's 2015 third-round SuperDraft pick Earl Edwards Jr. will now be Hall's primary backup.
In receiving a second-round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, the Lions replace a pick previously traded to the Philadelphia Union in December when the club acquired midfielder Amobi Okugo.
Ricketts returns to his initial MLS team in the LA Galaxy, where he played from 2009-2011. The Galaxy made the acquisition after starting goalkeeper Jaime Penedo left the team this week. Penedo explained on his Instagram account the reason he left was that he was unhappy with his current contract at the club. Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena stated on Wednesday that they were hoping to acquire Ricketts prior to this weekend's game against the Colorado Rapids.
After acquiring Spanish defender David Mateos and Swiss midfielder Adrian Winter this week, Orlando City had topped the 28-man roster limit forcing the team the make a move. The 38-year-old goalkeeper had a cap charge of $260,000 though the Portland Timbers paid some of that due to an agreement between the two teams.
"Donovan became an important part of the history of Orlando City," said General Manager Paul McDonough in a club press release. "We are very grateful for his contributions to the Lions -- both on the pitch and in the community -- and we are glad we can facilitate his desire to return to Los Angeles to continue his career. We wish Donovan the very best in the future."