After rumors swirled for months, the L.A. Galaxy officially announced the signing of defender Ashley Cole on Wednesday, adding the 35-year-old to the team’s roster without using a designated player tag or targeted allocation money.
“Ashley is one of the world’s most successful defenders and has played at the highest level of competition throughout his career,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “He can provide our defense with valuable experience. We look forward to his contribution to our club this season.”
Cole, who played for Arsenal from 1999-2006 and Chelsea from 2006-2014, is considered one of the best defenders of his generation, but his star has fallen quickly. The 35-year-old’s contract with A.S. Roma was terminated by mutual consent on Tuesday. Cole joined Roma in 2014 but only made 11 appearances with the club, all coming in his first season. He hadn’t played a competitive game for the Serie A side since March 2015.
The former English international made 107 caps for his country, the most for any full back, and played in three World Cups.
After he was released by Chelsea in 2014, Cole said he received offers from MLS, but turned them down in favor of Roma, telling reporters at the time he was “not ready to relax on a beach yet.”
Cole is the latest veteran to sign with the Galaxy this offseason, as the team also added Belgian defender Jelle Van Damme, 32, goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, 33, midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, 32, and forward Mike Magee, 31.