LA Galaxy con­firm Ger­rard de­par­ture

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

For­mer Eng­land mid­fielder Steven Ger­rard has left Ma­jor League Soccer side LA Galaxy, the club con­firmed yes­ter­day, but he in­di­cated that he is not yet ready to re­tire from play­ing.

“The LA Galaxy an­nounced to­day that mid­fielder Steven Ger­rard will not re­turn to the club for the 2017 MLS sea­son,” read a state­ment is­sued by the Galaxy.

“Ger­rard de­parts from LA fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of his con­tract in Ma­jor League Soccer at the end of the year.”

The 36-year-old had joined the Galaxy in July 2015 fol­low­ing his de­par­ture from Liver­pool, where he starred for 17 years.

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously been tipped to see out his play­ing days in the United States, he sug­gested that he will now move on to another club be­fore hang­ing up his boots.

“When I left Liver­pool, I came to Los An­ge­les with the goal of help­ing the Galaxy lift another MLS Cup,” said Ger­rard, who was elim­i­nated in the Western Con­fer­ence semi-fi­nals with Galaxy by Colorado Rapids ear­lier this month.

“I am of course dis­ap­pointed to have not achieved that ob­jec­tive, but I can look back at my time at the club with pride at what we ac­com­plished, in­clud­ing two straight play­off ap­pear­ances and count­less mem­o­rable mo­ments on the pitch.”

He added: “I am now look­ing for­ward to spend­ing time with my fam­ily as I con­sider the next stage of my ca­reer.”

Ger­rard scored five goals in 34 ap­pear­ances for the Galaxy.

While he will con­tinue to work as a tele­vi­sion pun­dit for BT Sport in the United King­dom, his com­ments will be of in­ter­est to nu­mer­ous po­ten­tial suit­ors, in­clud­ing Scot­tish cham­pi­ons Celtic. Man­aged by Ger­rard’s for­mer boss at An­field Bren­dan Rodgers, they have been in­stalled as the favourites with book­mak­ers at odds of 2/1 to be his next port of call.

Speak­ing to Galaxy TV, he added: “Al­though I’m go­ing back to Eng­land to live, it’s cer­tainly not the end of me in foot­ball terms. I’ve got a lot of things to con­sider over the com­ing weeks and months, and I’m sure I’ll be back in­volved in the game.

“I’ve got op­tions on the pitch, off the pitch. “I’ve got a lot of think­ing to do over the next two or three weeks. I’m not ready to make a de­ci­sion or fi­nalise any­thing that I’m go­ing to be do­ing moving for­ward.

“What I will say is that I’m go­ing home to spend some time with my fam­ily and ba­si­cally go over my op­tions and de­cide which is the best next chal­lenge for me.”

Ger­rard’s de­par­ture comes a day af­ter New York City F.C. con­firmed his exEng­land team-mate Frank Lam­pard, 38, will leave the club when his con­tract ex­pires at the end of the year.

Capped 114 times by Eng­land, Ger­rard skip­pered home-town team Liver­pool for 12 years, fa­mously lift­ing the Cham­pi­ons League tro­phy in 2005 af­ter an un­for­get­table come­back against AC Mi­lan.

He also won two FA Cups, three League Cups and the UEFA Cup at Liver­pool, but he never laid his hands on the Premier League tro­phy. — AFP


CAR­SON: This file photo taken on July 11, 2015 shows Steven Ger­rard of the LA Galaxy warms up with team­mates be­fore mak­ing his debut for the MLS side against Club Amer­ica in their 2015 In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup match in Car­son, Cal­i­for­nia. For­mer Eng­land mid­fielder Steven Ger­rard has left Ma­jor League Soccer side LA Galaxy, the club con­firmed yes­ter­day.

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