Steven Gerrard is set to make his LA Galaxy debut later this month, and he was officially unveiled for the fans in Los Angeles’ 4-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday. The expectations are high for the 35-year-old midfielder since he was such a dominating player in the Premier League and the English national team for a very long time. But can he still take over a game by himself?
He started out his Galaxy career by treating fans to free beer, so my guess is that he’s already won over some fans that might be wondering why the club has signed a 35-year-old player. Although Gerrard wasn’t as dominant during his last season with Liverpool, he still has qualities that will make him one of the better players in the MLS.
Gerrard has never been speedy player, he’s been more reliant on his work ethic and his competitive spirit. He’s a player that as gives his all on the pitch and has a great attitude, spurring on other players to elevate their game. He makes players around him better, and he will be a great mentor for the younger players at the club.
When he was introduced at halftime for the fans, Gerrard said: “I can’t wait to get my boots on and play in front of you guys,” he said Saturday. “I’ve been in Liverpool all my life,” he added. “But this is a good place for me to come and enjoy my football, and hopefully add a trophy to my collection.”
I don’t think Gerrard has come over to the Galaxy just to relax on the beach and get his wife nice things from Rodeo Drive. He still has the hunger to be successful and win trophies. His chances of adding some more silverware to his trophy cabinet is a lot greater with the Galaxy than it would have been if he had stayed with Liverpool.
Since the season is a bit shorter in the MLS, it allows older players like Gerrard to get plenty of rest in the offseason and that certainly has prolonged the careers of many of the players in the league.
Galaxy president Chris Klein is really happy that the club has landed such a high-profile player.
“To get a player like Steven Gerrard to come and play in MLS and for the Galaxy is a really big deal, but early on we knew that if he was going to leave Liverpool, we’d be an ideal destination for him,” Klein told Sky Sports News HQ. “When you can add players of the quality of Steven Gerrard to your lineup, it’s only going to help the players around him and the players coming through our system.
“We expect him to come here to win. The expectation is that he comes in and meshes with our team, we expect him to lead and do the things he’s done for Liverpool for his entire career and if he does that, we’ll be in a good spot.”
Gerrard still has an excellent passing game, and playing in a sitting midfield role, he can dictate the pace of the game and dish out some nice passes to Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes. Gerrard is still able to deliver some excellent crosses that leaves spectators, and players, in awe as his precision is excellent. He will also be a real threat on set pieces, as we have seen time and time again how deadly his free-kicks can be.
Gerrard’s arrival is a big boost for the Galaxy and I don’t think you can understate just how valuable it will be for the young players to train with, and learn from someone like Gerrard. He instantly makes Los Angeles a favorite to go back into the playoffs and claim another MLS Cup.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 29, 2015
He might not be the Steven Gerrard of old, but he still has a lot to offer on this level. And it’s a real feather in the cap for the Galaxy that they now have another English legend on the team. David Beckham did a lot for the league when he came over, and Gerrard might have a similar impact in raising the status of the MLS in the world and make it more attractive for players.
And if things don’t go smoothly right away, he could always buy the fans some more beer.