Steven Gerrard will join the Los Angeles Galaxy in July, the team announced on Wednesday. The 34-year-old Liverpool captain will be brought on as a Designated Player during Major League Soccer's summer transfer window.
Terms of the deal were not made public, as is league and club policy.
Per the Galaxy's announcement, Gerrard said:
I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy. 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. My discussions with Bruce Arena and Chris Klein were extremely positive and the future of the team is very bright. 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.
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Bruce Arena, manager of the MLS side, first announced the deal in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, where he confirmed Gerrard's arrival will coincide with the expiration of his Liverpool contract:
We have a club now with a proven history of success. All those things go hand in hand in making LA Galaxy a very attractive team for players such as Steven Gerrard. ... Steven Gerrard arrives in July and by then we will certainly have a plan available. He's a player of quality. I'm not concerned about how he's going to fit in with our team.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant welcomed Gerrard to town in a video on the Galaxy website:
Gerrard recently suggested he would have remained at Liverpool if the club offered him a new deal during the summer of 2014, as reported by James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo (h/t BBC Sport). He is quoted as saying a switch to the Galaxy is a "match made in heaven," per the L.A. Times report.
Football commentator Ian Darke believes Gerrard will be a huge success at the StubHub Center:
Gerrard spent 17 years with Liverpool, where he has won eight trophies, including the 2005 UEFA Champions League, two FA Cups, three League Cups and the 2001 UEFA Cup. He retired from international play with England after the 2014 World Cup. He had represented his country 114 times, the third-highest total in England history, per the Guardian.
No longer a one-club man, it will be interesting to see how Gerrard develops after life at Anfield. The slower pace of the MLS will suit his ageing legs and should allow his tremendous passing range to shine through.
He remains a regular goalscorer, netting four in his last two appearances for the Reds, and he looks set to follow in the footsteps of former England team-mate David Beckham as the Galaxy go in search of further success.