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Zardes signs Homegrown Player deal with Galaxy

The electric 21-year-old attacker will join the two-time defending MLS Cup champion after three collegiate years at CSU Bakersfield.

Gyasi Zardes, one of the premiere attacking prospects in the United States, has signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy as a Homegrown Player, the club announced on Thursday.

Zardes, 21, becomes the fourth Homegrown Player on the two-time defending MLS Cup champion's roster, joining recent signing and right back Oscar Sorto and forwards Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal.

In his three seasons at Cal-State University Bakersfield, the Hawthorne, Calif., native enjoyed high levels of success. He scored 38 goals in three seasons, with 33 of those coming in the last two years. Zardes reportedly turned down overtures from the Galaxy to sign last year and was said to be in contention for offers from clubs overseas. He possesses a keen ability to finish, set up others and use his raw athleticism to beat defenders and will add a different dynamic to an already potent Galaxy attack.

"Gyasi has been one of the most exciting prospects in our academy for a number of years and was one of the best players in college soccer over the past few years, so we are excited to finally be able to sign him as a Homegrown Player," Galaxy vice president Chris Klein said in a team statement. "He has grown and improved immeasurably as a result of his experiences with our academy and at Bakersfield, and we look forward to having him make his Galaxy debut in 2013."

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