The Los Angeles Galaxy have announced the signing of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard as a designated player from July.
The 34-year-old former England skipper is to join the Galaxy’s squad during Major League Soccer’s summer transfer window, following the conclusion of the Barclays Premier League season, pending receipt of his P-1 visa and international transfer certificate.
“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy,” Gerrard said on www.lagalaxy.com.
“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.”
Gerrard believes he will have an impact on the team and is determined to win silverware with them.
“My discussions with Bruce Arena and Chris Klein were extremely positive and the future of the team is very bright,” he added.
“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.”
Head coach and general manager Bruce Arena hopes Gerrard will bring more than just his playing qualities to the team.
“We’re very pleased to acquire a player of Steven’s calibre, experience and character,” he 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.”
Gerrard admits had Liverpool offered him a new contract last summer he would not be bringing an end to his long association with the Reds.
However, the prospect of a new deal was not raised until November, by which time the player had already gone public at his surprise there had not been discussions over an extension.
That alerted other interested parties to his potential availablity and Galaxy president Klein admits they pursued him “aggressively” with the financial backing of owner Philip Anschutz.
“The LA Galaxy continue to compete for championships and strive for unparalleled success each year, and signing Steven is another example of Mr Anschutz’s continued commitment to the growth of soccer in Los Angeles and North America,” he said.
“We were aggressive in our pursuit of Steven and look forward to his contributions to our club both on and off the field.”