Liverpool midfielder and captain Steven Gerrard has signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy and will join the club in July, after the conclusion of the 2014-15 Premier League season.
"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy," said Gerrard. "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 (head coach) Bruce Arena and (club president) 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."
Gerrard. 34. joins the Galaxy after announcing his decision to leave Liverpool, concluding a stellar 17-year career on Merseyside during which he has served a captain since 2003 and has made 696 appearances while scoring 182 goals across all competitions.
The Liverpool native also led the Reds to 10 trophies over the past 15 years. He has won two FA Cups (2001, 2006), three League Cups (2001, 2003, 2012), one UEFA Cup and the 2005 UEFA Champions League title, in which he famously led the Reds back from a 3-0 halftime deficit against AC Milan and won on penalty kicks.
Individually, he has earned honors as the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Young Player of the Year (2001), PFA Player of the Year (2006), Football Writers Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year (2009), PFA Fans Player of the Year (2001, 2009), PFA Team of the Year (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014), FA England Player of the Year (2007, 2012), UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (2005) and FIFA's Ballon d'Or Bronze Award (2005).
"We're very pleased to acquire a player of Steven's caliber, experience and character," Arena said. "He is one of the most decorated players in the world and will join our team with a wealth of success playing at the highest level of the sport. Steven will be an excellent example to our young players and we're excited to add him and his leadership to an already talented roster."
"The LA Galaxy continue to compete for championships and strive for unparalleled success each year, and signing Steven is another example of Mr. Anschutz' continued commitment to the growth of soccer in Los Angeles and North America," said Klein. "We were aggressive in our pursuit of Steven and look forward to his contributions to our club both on and off the field."
Gerrard joined the Liverpool Academy at the age of nine before signing his first professional contract with the club in 1997 as a 17-year-old. He made his debut with the Reds on Nov. 29, 1998 as a second-half substitute in a match against Blackburn Rovers and went on to play in 12 more games during his debut season. His first goal came the following season during a 4-1 win at Anfield against Sheffield Wednesday.