Steven Gerrard says LA Galaxy is a 'match made in heaven'
The Los Angeles Galaxy confirmed on Wednesday that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will join their roster as a designated player in July
Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Galaxy confirmed on Wednesday that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will join their roster as a designated player in July.
The 34-year-old midfielder will join up with the Major League Soccer side at the end of the Premier League season, pending receipt of a 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 the LA Galaxy website.
"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."
The terms of the deal were not specified, but Gerrard is believed to have signed an 18-month contract, which British media reports suggest will be worth around Â£6 million ($9.1 million, 7.6 million euros).
Gerrard announced last Friday that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the current campaign, ending a 25-year association with the club that has seen him make 696 appearances and score 182 goals.
The move to the Galaxy will reunite him with his old Liverpool team-mate Robbie Keane and see him follow in the footsteps of former England colleague David Beckham, who spent five years at the California club.
"My discussions with (head coach) Bruce Arena and (president) Chris Klein were extremely positive and the future of the team is very bright," Gerrard 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."
Galaxy coach Arena said: "We're very pleased to acquire a player of Steven's caliber, experience and character.
"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."
'Match made in heaven'
The Galaxy won their fifth MLS title in December and have a vacancy to fill thanks to the retirement of longtime star Landon Donovan.
Donovan's departure left the Galaxy with a vacant designated-player berth, which they can use to sign high-priced stars with relief from salary cap constraints.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in an article published on Wednesday, Gerrard described the move as a "match made in heaven".
Galaxy president Klein praised club owner Philip Anschutz for helping push through the move for Gerrard, who is one of the most iconic players in the globally popular Premier League.
"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," Klein said.
Gerrard famously inspired Liverpool to glory in the 2005 Champions League final, when they came from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties, and has also won two FA Cups, three League Cups and the UEFA Cup.
But he has never won the Premier League title, with Liverpool having narrowly lost out to Manchester City last season.
He won 119 caps for England and captained his country at three major tournaments before retiring from international football after last year's World Cup.
In an interview with a British regional newspaper, Gerrard explained that he had decided to leave Liverpool after manager Brendan Rodgers told him he was no longer guaranteed a starting place.
"I've never wanted to be a squad player," Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo. "If I was missing games now, I'd be sitting out even more next season. I knew it would get worse and worse as time went on."