Take the poll: Are the Galaxy and MLS better off without a violent defender like the departed Nigel de Jong?

nigel

When it comes to an opinion about a tough, imposing defender like Nigel de Jong few soccer fans are on the fence.

A player variously known as Nigel “King Kong” de Jong or the “Lawnmower” with a track record for violently injuring opposing players like former U.S. international Stuart Holden is either abhorred for his uncompromising, some would say dangerous style, or lauded for being the linchpin of an effective back four.

But it goes further than that.

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena has pointed out that de Jong’s qualities go beyond the merely physical; not only did he win 82 percent of his tackles during his brief Galaxy career, but he has completed more passes than any other player on the team so far this season.

“We don’t have an educated public that understands what he does,” Arena lamented earlier this week.

What do you think?

Are the Galaxy and MLS better or worse off for the departure of defender Nigel de Jong

 
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Galaxy’s Nigel de Jong completes move to Galatasaray

Nigel de Jong’s stint with the Galaxy officially ended Wednesday with the midfielder signing a two-year deal with Galatasaray of the Turkish Super League.

De Jong joined the Galaxy this season after leaving AC Milan in Italy’s Serie A. He was signed in February to a one-year deal with a contract “trigger” to become a Designated Player next season.

De Jong’s brief time with the Galaxy was eventful. Known for his rugged and fearless play in the midfield, de Jong, 31, made 18 appearances for the Galaxy, but also suffered a pair of multi-game suspensions for tackles on Portland’s Darlington Nagbe in April and Blas Perez in July.

The move, although it might hurt the Galaxy in the present, could give the team some much-needed flexibility in the off-season as it looks to replace one or possibly two Designated Player slots.

“We have the greatest respect for Nigel,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “He’s been a terrific addition to our team, he’s a great professional, great teammate and when healthy and given a chance to play in this league, he’s been good. He’s a very good player. We don’t have an educated public that understands what he does. He’s been an important member of our team.”

Arena said Tuesday that de Jong was “pursuing an opportunity with our blessing.”

De Jong was making $500,000 this season. It has been reported that his salary with Galatasaray will be close to $3 million a year. He’s signed through 2018. He went through his first training session with his new club Wednesday.

De Jong is a two-time World Cup veteran for the Netherlands. Aside from AC Milan, he’s also played for Ajax, Hamburg and Manchester City.

He joins a Galatasaray club that’s currently off to a 2-0 start this season.

The move comes at a difficult time for the Galaxy with Gyasi Zardes (foot), Steven Gerrard (hamstring) and Jelle Van Damme (knee) all out, either for the season in Zardes’ case or a couple of weeks, for Gerrard and Van Damme.

Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee said he will miss de Jong’s toughness on the field.

“He was a great guy in the locker room and I don’t think you need me to tell you that he’s a great player,” Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee said. “He’s a winner. He’s not out there to (nut)meg people and score goals, he’s around there to cover for his teammates and make people around him better.”

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LA Galaxy II hosts inaugural Pups at the Park Night September 10 at StubHub Center in Carson

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Got a soccer-loving hound?

Then bring Rover or Spot down to StubHub Center 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 when the LA Galaxy II host the Sacramento Republic for the inaugural Pups at the Park Night.

Admission for you is $10 and your dog $5 with the proceeds for the latter going to local animal groups:

At halftime of the match, a “Best In Show” competition will be held to award the biggest K-9 Galaxy fan. The competition is open to all dogs in attendance and the winner will receive a 2016 LA Galaxy Jersey and Galaxy Puppy Pack courtesy of the Galaxy Team Store.

On the East side of the stadium, there will be a dedicated area for dogs and puppies. For safety purposes, dog owners will be required to provide up-to-date shot and vaccination records for their animal to be granted stadium access.

Parking is free and $2 beers and tacos are available.

And if you want your best friend styling for the occasion, click here.

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Bruce Arena confirms Nigel de Jong is in Turkey to finalize move

Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong is currently in Turkey trying to finalize a move to Galatasaray, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena confirmed Tuesday.

Reports of the possible move surfaced Monday that de Jong, 31, was nearing a move to

nigeldejongthe Turkish team. Initially, the Galaxy offered a no comment on the possible move. Arena elaborated a bit more on the potential move Tuesday.

“He’s pursuing an opportunity with our blessing,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said Tuesday. “He’s in Turkey. It either happens or it doesn’t.

“We have the greatest respect for Nigel. He’s been a terrific addition to our team, he’s a great professional, great teammate and when healthy and given a chance to play in this league, he’s been good. He’s a very good player. We don’t have an educated public that understands what he does. He’s been an important member of our team.”

According to the Major League Soccer Players Union, de Jong is making $500,000 this season. He joined the Galaxy this season and has made 18 appearances this season.

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Gyasi Zardes to miss remainder of regular season with broken foot

Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes will miss the remainder of the regular season with a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot, the club announced, Tuesday.

Zardes, 24, suffered the injury in Saturday’s scoreless draw against Vancouver. Zardes suffered the injury on a tackle by Vancouver’s Kendall Waston.

The injury also knocks Zardes out of the upcoming U.S. men’s national team World Cup qualifiers.

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said that Zardes is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday.

Zardes wasn’t the only player to come out of Saturday’s game injured.

Monday, defender Jelle Van Damme, who was taken off in the 44th minute with a knee injury, revealed via twitter that he had a sprained MCL and is expected to be out 2-3 weeks.

Also, midfielder Steven Gerrard, who left the game in the 31st minute with a hamstring injury will be out a “couple of weeks,” according to Arena.

The Galaxy faces Columbus, Saturday at StubHub Center.

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Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme confirms injury and timetable

Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme was subbed out of Saturday’s game with a knee injury. The extent wasn’t available then, but the defender confirmed Monday that he has a sprained MCL.

Van Damme has been the Galaxy’s top defender this season.

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Galaxy preview: Galaxy returns home to host Vancouver

Things are getting crowded in the Western Conference MLS standings and the GalaxyGalaxy is looking to make a big move with the first of two home games, starting tonight.

The Galaxy (9-4-12) will host Vancouver (8-12-6) at the StubHub Center at 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver is currently in ninth place in the Western Conference on 30 points. The Galaxy is in fourth with 39 points.

The teams have met twice already. The first meeting ended in a draw, the Galaxy won the second. Will the Galaxy be able to pick up a much-needed three points?

pregame reading: Brian Rowe is ready for a return

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