“We were honored to have a player and person of Steven’s caliber represent the LA Galaxy over the past two seasons,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena. “His experience, class and leadership made him a valuable member of this team both on and off the field. I will always remember his last kick for the LA Galaxy as he smashed home his penalty against Tim Howard. We thank Steven for his time and contributions to this club and we wish him the best in whatever comes next. He is one of the most iconic players of all-time and he will always be a part of the LA Galaxy family.”
Gerrard departs from LA following the conclusion of his contract in Major League Soccer at the end of the year. After some initial struggles adjusting to the league, Gerrard eventually tallied five goals and 14 assists in 34 appearances during his 18 months with the club.
“When I left Liverpool, I came to Los Angeles with the goal of helping the Galaxy lift another MLS Cup,” said Steven Gerrard in a statement. “I am of course disappointed to have not achieved that objective, but I can look back at my time at the club with pride at what we accomplished, including two straight playoff appearances and countless memorable moments on the pitch."
Gerrard, 36, signed with the Galaxy on January 7, 2015, before joining the team in July 2015 after finishing the English Premier League season with Liverpool. Gerrard had three goals and 11 assists in 2016, while helping lead the club to two straight berths in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
"As someone who spent the whole of their career in Liverpool, it has been an incredible experience to come to Los Angeles and play for the LA Galaxy," said Gerrard. "I would like to thank Mr. Anschutz, Dan Beckerman, Chris Klein and Bruce Arena for this opportunity. I would also like to thank my teammates, the coaching staff, all of the support staff and most importantly the fans for their fantastic support during my time at Galaxy; I am excited to see this league and this great club continue to grow. I am now looking forward to spending time with my family as I consider the next stage of my career.”
The midfielder joined the Galaxy after one of the most storied careers in Liverpool and English football history. During his 17 seasons with Liverpool, the team’s longest-serving captain made over 700 professional appearances and scored 185 goals in all competitions. Gerrard also served as captain for England, making 114 appearances and scoring 21 goals on the international level, including captaining his country during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
This season the Galaxy roster featured several big international veteran players thanks to some creative moves by the front office. Unfortunately, some of the older players suffered injuries this season, leading to inconsistent play on the pitch.
Gerrard wrote this final letter to the fans of the club:
"LA Galaxy Supporters –
Over the last year and a half, it has been a privilege to represent the LA Galaxy and play in front of this club’s great fans.
When I left Liverpool, I came to Los Angeles with the goal of helping the LA Galaxy lift another MLS Cup. I am very disappointed to have not achieved that objective, but I can look back at my time at the club with pride at what we accomplished, including two straight playoff appearances and countless memorable moments on the pitch.
I have loved every minute of my time in the States and playing for the LA Galaxy. I am excited to see this league and this great club continue to grow.
As someone who spent the whole of their career in Liverpool, it has been an incredible experience to come to Los Angeles and play for the LA Galaxy. I would like to thank Mr. Anschutz, Dan Beckerman, Chris Klein and Bruce Arena for this opportunity. I would also like to thank my teammates, the coaching staff, the team staff and each and every supporter for their support since I arrived at this club.
To the Galaxy fans at StubHub Center, it has been an honor to play in front of you. From my debut against San Jose to my final match in Colorado, you have shown me amazing support and I will never forget that. I am excited to continue to support the Galaxy going forward and I look forward to seeing you all again in Los Angeles soon.
Los Angeles will always have a special place in my heart. As I depart, I want to thank everyone at the club for making my time here so memorable for me and my family.
Thank you and go Galaxy.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services