LA Galaxy sign Steven Gerrard

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RYAN BRISTER
Staff Writer

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard will move to the U.S. to play with the LA Galaxy in July after his contract with the Reds expires at the end of the Premier League season. According to ESPN’s Jeffrey Carlisle, Gerrard has signed an 18-month deal with the Galaxy worth $6 million a year.

Bruce Arena confirmed the news to the Los Angeles Times this morning and the Galaxy will hold a press conference to announce the signing later today.

Gerrard has made nearly 700 appearances for Liverpool since his career began in 1998. While he continues to play in the majority of Liverpool’s games, an expiring contract and questions regarding his form have led to doubts about his future with the club. Gerrard turns 35 at the end of May, and is no longer the box-to-box, tireless midfielder he once was.

Gerrard will be the Galaxy’s third designated player, filling the empty slot left behind by Landon Donovan’s retirement. Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez occupy the other two DP slots. The Galaxy have a history of signing big-name foreign players that extends back even before David Beckham joined the club in 2007.

Unlike Beckham, who joined the Galaxy at a time when they were struggling, Gerrard will be tasked with fitting in to the defending MLS Cup champions. He cited the club’s success as a reason why he chose the Galaxy, but if they are unable to continue that success, Gerrard may have to shoulder some of that blame.

Arena will have to adjust a lineup and 4-4-2 tactics that worked so well this past season. For his part, Arena told the Times that he is “not concerned about how he’s going to fit in with our team.”

Gerrard’s move to MLS comes on the heels of significant controversy surrounding Frank Lampard’s status in the league. Prior to “signing” with NYCFC, Lampard was regularly the subject of rumored moves to the Galaxy. He and Gerrard have been regulars with the English national team over the past decade and a half, and are frequently compared in the English media.

Gerrard joins Lampard, David Villa, and Kaka as international stars who will move to MLS in 2015, the league’s 20th season.


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