By Martyn Herman
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard confirmed on Wednesday that he will join MLS champions LA Galaxy in July on an 18-month deal.
“The time’s right for myself and my family for the change, for the fresh challenge,” the 34-year-old told the Los Angeles Times.
“I want to finish my career very strong. I want to add some more medals and trophies to my collection. So I think it’s a match made in heaven, really.
“One of the reasons why I chose the LA Galaxy was because of the success they’ve had recently. But also the plans for more success in the future.”
Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo on Tuesday that he would have agreed to continue his long Liverpool career had the club offered him a new contract.
Instead he will now join a growing list of high-profile former Premier League players to cross the Atlantic in the latter stages of their careers, most notably David Beckham.
Former Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool striker Robbie Keane will be a team mate of Gerrard at the Galaxy while former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has signed for New York, although he is still in England on loan at Manchester City.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said the club’s reputation was a factor in attracting Gerrard.
“We have a club now with a proven history of success,” he said. “All of those things go hand-in-hand in making LA Galaxy a very attractive team for players such as Steven Gerrard.”
Former England captain Gerrard has spent his entire career at Liverpool, making nearly 700 appearances and winning the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.