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LA Galaxy announce Steven Gerrard signing

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will join the LA Galaxy in July, the MLS side announced Wednesday.

The announcement ends speculation about the 34-year-old's destination after he surprised many by announcing earlier this month he would leave the Reds, where he has spent his entire career.

“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy,” Gerrard said in a news release. “The Galaxy are the most successful club in Major League Soccer history and I am looking forward to competing for more championships in the years to come.

"My discussions with (head coach) Bruce Arena and (president) Chris Klein were extremely positive and the future of the team is very bright. I am committed to helping the LA Galaxy compete for trophies and to having an impact in Los Angeles and I will give my all for the club. In the meantime, I will continue to give everything for Liverpool for the remainder of this season before joining up with the Galaxy.”

Gerrard joins forward Robbie Keane and defender Omar Gonzalez as Designated Players on the Galaxy. Under MLS rules, teams can sign up to three designated players who only see a portion of their salaries count against the league's $3.1 million cap. A spot was vacated by the retirement of Landon Donovan.

 “We’re very pleased to acquire a player of Steven’s caliber, experience and character,” Arena said. “He is one of the most decorated players in the world and will join our team with a wealth of success playing at the highest level of the sport. Steven will be an excellent example to our young players and we’re excited to add him and his leadership to an already talented roster.”

The team did not release terms of the deal, citing league and club policy.

While the player is excited for a new challenge, he said it was hard to make the decision to leave the club where he has played since signing his first deal in 1998.

“It’s been an emotional few days for my family and myself since I made the announcement and I think it’s been the same for a lot of the supporters,” Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo earlier this week. “It’s been difficult but I needed to snap out of it quickly because there are important games to be played. There is still a lot to be achieved this season.”

Gerrard won several trophies with Liverpool, including the Champions League and a pair of FA Cups. On the international level, Gerrard represented England at three European Championships and the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups.