MLS | LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Dutch star De Jong joins Gerrard and Cole at LA Galaxy
Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong, the AC Milan captain who helped the Netherlands reach the 2010 World Cup final is moving to California.
Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong, the AC Milan captain who helped the Netherlands reach the 2010 World Cup final, has signed with the Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, the US club announced today, Wednesday.
De Jong will partner English standout Steven Gerrard in midfield, and together with English defender Ashley Cole give the Galaxy a revamped look as they seek a fourth MLS crown in six seasons.
'Nigel is an experienced midfielder who will help the players around him get better,' Galaxy coach and general manager Bruce Arena said. 'He will add qualities on the field that can strengthen our team in all areas.'
De Jong, 31, scored six goals in 79 appearances for AC Milan in the latest stop of a career that has taken him to Ajax, Bundesliga side Hamburg and Manchester City, where he played in the 2011-12 English Premier League title winning team.
'You've got a guy that has got a ton of experience and is an outstanding defensive midfielder,' Arena said. 'He's a guy who can be a real anchor for us in the midfield.'
The Galaxy, ousted in the first round of last year's playoffs, return to action February 24 against Santos Laguna in a CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final opener at home.
'We'll see when it's all said and done,' Arena said. 'You don't win any games on paper, so we'll see if we can make this group into a team on the field.'