LA Galaxy sign Nigel de Jong, continue off-season makeover
The LA Galaxy continued their plunge into the international market, signing veteran Netherlands international midfielder Nigel de Jong, the club announced Wednesday.
De Jong joins Jelle Van Damme and Ashley Cole as recent European signings for the club, which transferred Omar Gonzalez and Juninho to Liga MX clubs this winter as part of a significant roster overhaul.
De Jong, 31, is famous for his bruising moments, most notably breaking the leg of U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden in March 2010 and karate-kicking Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup final. He's also a player who reportedly cost Manchester City £18 million in 2009 and is experienced on the biggest stages. The Galaxy used Targeted Allocation Money to acquire de Jong, who most recently played for AC Milan and also played Hamburg and Ajax in his career.
“Nigel is an experienced midfielder who will help the players around him get better,” Galaxy coach and general manager Bruce Arena said in a statement. “He will add qualities on the field that can strengthen our team in all areas. We look forward to Nigel coming to Los Angeles and joining our club.”
According to the L.A. Times, De Jong, Van Damme and Cole will cost the Galaxy $1.3 million total in 2016. In 2015, Gonzalez alone cost the Galaxy $1.45 million in guaranteed compensation, per the most recent MLS Players Union salary figures.