Ashley Cole attempted to put in context today his now infamous comment a couple of years ago about not being ready to relax on the beach if he joined MLS at his LA Galaxy introductory press conference.
The jersey is little changed from last year, per the Galaxy’s description:
The new Galaxy primary kit will continue the traditional sash featured in previous years while providing a classic update in two contrasting bars of the Galaxy’s primary colors. The bars highlight the team’s new crest, which will be the only team in MLS to feature a single Gold Star, signifying the Galaxy’s record five MLS Cup Championships.
Galaxy players will greet fans at a Supporters’ Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at the club’s This is LA retail Pop-Up Shop at Blends, 725 S. Los Angeles St. Mike Magee, Jeff Larentowicz, Dan Kennedy and Dan Gargan will be in attendance.
From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos will sign autographs and meet fans at the same location.
New Galaxy signing Ashley Cole, who once dismissed MLS as a place players go to sit on the beach and then had to backtrack when he joined LA, is among a slew of 30-plus players coach Bruce Arena has signed to push for another MLS Cup.
All have plenty of experience — but some know little about the demands of MLS.
The L.A. Galaxy officially announced the signing of Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong today, adding the 31-year-old World Cup veteran to fill the team’s final roster spot for the 2016 season.
A product of the famed Ajax Academy, De Jong’s club career made stops in the Netherlands (Ajax), Germany (Hamburger SV), England (Manchester City) and Italy (A.C. Milan) before coming stateside. He also played for the Netherlands in the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups.
“Nigel is an experienced midfielder who will help the players around him get better,” said LA Galaxy coach and General Manager Bruce Arena. “He will add qualities on the field that can strengthen our team in all areas.”
De Jong’s contract with Milan was terminated through mutual consent on Monday, clearing the way for the 31-year-old to join the Galaxy on a free transfer. He was previously tied to the Italian club until 2018, but has been linked to the Galaxy since January.
— Nigel de Jong (@NDJ_Official) February 1, 2016
The L.A. Galaxy opened their preseason with a 2-1 win over Armenian side FC Shirak while officially closing their books, reportedly completing a deal with Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong, according to the L.A. Times.
De Jong reportedly agreed to a one-year deal worth less than $1 million that includes targeted allocation money. De Jong would fill the final roster spot for the Galaxy, who also announced the signings of Ashley Cole and Jelle Van Damme last week. The Times reports that the combined salary of the three players is less than $1.7 million.
The 31-year-old World Cup finalist from 2010 negotiated out of the final two years of his contract with A.C. Milan that was slated to expire in 2018.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena repeatedly lamented the team’s defensive woes that led to the team’s early playoff exit last season, saying it was necessary to strengthen the defense during the offseason to contend for a sixth MLS Cup. De Jong surely fits the bill in that regard. He is a bruising defensive midfielder known for his physicality. He once kicked Spain’s Xabi Alonso in the chest during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final:
In game news, the Galaxy won their preseason game against FC Shirak with a brace from Jose Villarreal.
The LA Galaxy officially announced the long-suspected signing of Belgian defender Jelle Van Damme on Tuesday. The club used targeted allocation money for the signing and Van Damme will take one of the team’s international roster spots.
The Galaxy, who officially started preseason camp last Friday, have also been linked to Ashley Cole, 35, and Nigel de Jong, 31, and have 26 of their 28 roster spots filled for the upcoming season. Cole has already been released from his club Roma, while de Jong is still signed with AC Milan until 2018.
Van Damme joins L.A. after captaining Belgian side Standard Liege, where he made 205 appearances since 2011. Although he has played both left and center back, Van Damme will likely play in the middle for the Galaxy, head coach Bruce Arena told LAGalaxy.com, making the 32-year-old the replacement for Omar Gonzalez in the backline.
“He’s got good experience, he passes the ball well and he’s a leader,” Arena said. “I think that he’s a guy that’s suitable to help us strengthen our backline.”
Van Damme’s career includes stops in four different countries (England, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) and 30 international caps for Belgium.
Of the team’s eight off-season signings so far, five have been over the age of 30. In addition to the Van Damme deal, the Galaxy acquired goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, 33, midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, 32, forward Mike Magee, 31, and re-signed 34-year-old forward Alan Gordon.
The team also signed Galaxy II players Clement Diop, 24, and Daniel Steres, 25, to the roster, in addition to a draft-day deal for 21-year-old Emmanuel Boateng. The Galaxy drafted 22-year-old Georgetown defender Josh Turnley, but have not officially signed the third-round pick.
Before starting the MLS season on March 6 against DC United, the Galaxy face Liga MX side Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Feb. 24 at home and March 1 on the road.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber brought some hot takes to MLS Media Day on Tuesday, expressing his displeasure with the way U.S. men’s national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann selects his players.
Feilhaber, who had the unfortunate pleasure of celebrating his 31st birthday answering questions in a room full of journalists, said he doesn’t understand Klinsmann’s criteria for selecting players for national team call-ups, saying “I don’t think that Jurgen calls in the best players that are available to him.” Continue reading
Turnley was selected with the 42nd overall pick after a four-year college career at Georgetown during which he started three seasons and was named a All-Big East second teamer after his senior year.
The Galaxy passed on their two fourth-round picks and traded their first-round pick to Colorado for targeted allocation money last week.