This is the Los Angeles Galaxy: Eddie Lewis

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IJuly 16, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 16:  Eddie Lewis #6 of the Los Angeles Galaxy plays the ball against the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands on July 16, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for New York Red Bull)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

This is Part 23 in a series of articles on the players that make up the 2010 Los Angeles Galaxy.

Eddie Lewis is his name. Playing as a midfielder in the world of association football is his game.

Lewis's long career has been concentrated in two places on opposite sides of the Atlantic: the United States and England. 

The time he spent in England—particularly Preston and Leeds—has made a profound impact on his career, and he hopes to put whatever he has left in the footballing tank to use as he helps lead the Galaxy back to the 2010 MLS Cup.

Edward James Lewis was born on May 17, 1974 in Cerritos, California. Aside from being a place of interest with the Los Cerritos Center and its Auto Square, Cerritos is one of several cities that constitute the Gateway Cities of southeast Los Angeles County. 

Cerritos is also known for their award-winning floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade, its Center for the Performing Arts, and the Smithsonian-affiliated Millennium Library.

Cerritos is also home to Cerritos High School, where Lewis was a star for the Dons soccer team. Interestingly, his work led him to UCLA's men's soccer team, playing alongside fellow Cerritos and UCLA graduate and current UCLA men's coach Jorge Salcedo and other famous faces like Greg Vanney and Ante Razov. In his final year with the Bruins, he would lead UCLA in scoring. 

Lewis finished his career at Westwood with a 67-14-4 record, 30 goals, 28 assists, four NCAA tournament appearances, a team Rookie of the Year in 1992, and MAC Hermann Trophy finalist honors in 1994.

Lewis began his professional career at the dawn of the league's existence. In 1996, he was selected 27th overall by the San Jose Clash (now San Jose Earthquakes) during the very first Major League Soccer College Draft.

In MLS's inaugural season, Lewis started 13 of his 25 appearances and tallied three assists on the year. In 1997, Lewis started 26 of the 29 games he appeared for the Clash, scoring his first goal against the Tamba Bay Mutiny on July 13, 1997. 

With two assists against the Galaxy (April 12), the Dallas Burn (June 28), and the New England Revolution (August 3), Lewis earned the first three multi-assist goals of his career, and suddenly the production from the Cerritos native was beginning to take shape. Lewis finished the 1997 season with a career-high 14 assists.

During the 1998 campaign, Lewis became the Ironman of the Clash, starting all 32 matches and playing 2,835 minutes in the midfield. That set the stage for his final season in San Jose, where he was named to the MLS Best XI. Once again, Lewis's facilitating ability culminated in tying his career-high 14 assists from 1997. Eddie Lewis completed his run at San Jose with nine goals and 35 assists in 115 appearances for the Clash.

His usefulness caught the attention of Fulham, who signed Lewis to a two-year deal. While he saw limited action for the Cottagers, Lewis did help lead Fulham back to the Premier League in 2002, where they have remained to this day. He made 16 league appearances for the club and also scored in the fourth round of the Football League Cup against Derby County on November 29, 2000.

However, Lewis's best years in England came with Preston North End and Leeds United. In 2002, Lewis signed with the Lilywhites and became a fan favorite at the friendly confines of Deepdale, scoring 15 goals in 111 appearances. 

In his final season with Preston, Lewis came very close to helping the club reach the Premiership, only to lose to 1-0 to West Ham United.

Lewis's next destination on his England football journey was Leeds United. He scored eight goals in 85 appearances for the Peacocks, joining the club on June 2005 as a free transfer. 

During the 2005-06 season, Lewis helped Leeds reach the Football League Championship final, and was renowned for his set piece expertise against Burnley and his old club, Preston. In the 2006-07 campaign, Lewis became the fourth non-British player to capture Leeds United Player of the Year honors and left his mark on Elland Road among the faithful.

Lewis wrapped up his footballing career in England with the Rams of Derby County FC. After 24 appearances playing for the club at Pride Park, Lewis decided to call it quits before the 2008-09 season to return to MLS.

That's when Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy came calling.

Arena knows Lewis well, having coached him on the US men's national team, where he scored 10 goals in 82 appearances. As a member of the Stars and Stripes, Lewis was known in 2002 for his delivery to current Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan in their 2-0 win over Mexico in Suwon, and he also competed in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

During the 2008 Galaxy campaign, Lewis saw limited action, appearing in eight matches while recording a goal and two assists. However, the 2009 season saw Lewis earn more playing time as the team's vice-captain, starting 23 of his 27 appearances for the G's.

In his first full season, Lewis helped engineer the comeback from their midseason slump en route to their first Western Conference crown since 2005. He also took part in his first MLS Cup Playoff matches since the 1996 season. Ironically, his Clash took on the team he now dons the strip of: the Galaxy.

What goes around does come around for a player with as storied a history as Eddie Lewis. Now, as his footballing career begins to draw ever closer to its end, there is one goal on his mind this season: a return to the MLS Cup...and winning it.

Who got the six? It's Eddie Lewis. Enough said.


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