Los Angeles Galaxy sign English star Steven Gerrard

January 7, 2015

Several years ago, the Los Angeles Galaxy signed an English star midfielder who produced a championship for the franchise and was a boon for the entire MLS.  Today, the club announced that it had signed another English midfielder as a Designated Player in Steven Gerrard, and while Gerrard may not have the comparable marketing profile as fellow Brit David Beckham had years ago, the team is banking on him matching or exceeding the play of the now retired Landon Donovan.

Other outlets are reporting that the deal is worth $9 million over 18 months.

Gerrard, 34, is scheduled to join the Galaxy’s roster during Major League’s Soccer summer transfer window in July following Liverpool’s season in England’s Barclays Premier League, pending receipt of his P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy,” said Gerrard. “The Galaxy are the most successful club in Major League Soccer history and I am looking forward to competing for more championships in the years to come. My discussions with Bruce Arena and Chris Klein were extremely positive and the future of the team is very bright. I am committed to helping the LA Galaxy compete for trophies and to having an impact in Los Angeles and I will give my all for the club. In the meantime, I will continue to give everything for Liverpool for the remainder of this season before joining up with the Galaxy.”

With Gerrard now on the team, the Galaxy again has three Designated Players on the roster in 2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez.

Gerrard joins the Galaxy following one of the most storied careers in Liverpool and English football history. In 17 seasons with Liverpool, the team’s longest-serving captain has made 696 appearances while scoring 182 goals to date in all competitions. Gerrard also has served as captain for England, making 114 appearances and scoring 21 goals on the international level, most recently captaining his country during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

“We’re very pleased to acquire a player of Steven’s caliber, experience and character,” LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena said. “He is one of the most decorated players in the world and will join our team with a wealth of success playing at the highest level of the sport. Steven will be an excellent example to our young players and we’re excited to add him and his leadership to an already talented roster.”

The midfielder joins the Galaxy after leading Liverpool to 10 major trophies over the past 15 years, including the UEFA Champions League (2005), UEFA Cup (2001), UEFA Super Cup (2001, 2005), FA Cup (2001, 2006), FA Community Shield (2006) and League Cup (2001, 2003, 2012). Individually, he has earned honors as the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Young Player of the Year (2001), PFA Player of the Year (2006), Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year (2009), PFA Fans’ Player of the Year (2001, 2009), PFA Team of the Year (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014), FA England Player of the Year (2007, 2012), UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (2005) and FIFA’s Ballon d’Or Bronze Award (2005).

“The LA Galaxy continue to compete for championships and strive for unparalleled success each year, and signing Steven is another example of Mr. Anschutz’ continued commitment to the growth of soccer in Los Angeles and North America,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein. “We were aggressive in our pursuit of Steven and look forward to his contributions to our club both on and off the field.”

Gerrard won his first major honors with Liverpool during the 2001 season, when he helped his club capture the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Super Cup while making 50 appearances across all competitions. That year, he was named the PFA Young Player of the Year. After serving as a vice-captain the following year, Gerrard became Liverpool’s full-time captain in 2003, holding the title since that time.

For his country, Gerrard has represented England at three FIFA World Cup competitions (2006, 2010, 2014) while serving as the team’s captain during the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. He also represented his country at the UEFA European Football Championships in 2000, 2004 and 2012. His 114 caps for England are the third most of any English international in history.

The LA Galaxy will open the 2015 MLS Season with a match against the Chicago Fire at StubHub Center on Friday, March 6 beginning at 7 p.m. PT.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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