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.