Cole signs with Galaxy

Ashley Cole (Getty Images)
Ashley Cole (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - Ashley Cole, a long-time England international and standout leftback at Premier League side Chelsea and Arsenal, signed with Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday.

Following in the MLS footsteps of former England midfielder David Beckham, the 35-year-old will join the US side after two seasons with Roma of the Italian League.

"He has got a burning desire to get back on the field and prove he can still play," Galaxy coach and general manager Bruce Arena said.

"He wants this opportunity in his career to show he's a player of quality. Ashley has a strong desire to excel."

Cole, whose Roma deal was terminated last week, earned 107 caps for England from 2001 through 2014, making him the most capped fullback in English history, and appeared in three World Cups.

He played on Premier League championship sides for Arsenal in 2001-02 and 2003-04, the latter in an undefeated title run, and for Chelsea in 2009-10 and was a member of seven FA Cup winning sides, three with the Gunners and four more after moving to Stamford Bridge.

Cole has played in every Champions League campaign since 2001, taking the title with Chelsea in 2012. He made 228 appearances with Arsenal and 229 with Chelsea.

"Ashley is one of the world's most successful defenders and has played at the highest level of competition throughout his career," Arena said. "He can provide our defense with valuable experience.

"I have a hard time believing that he won't be one of the better left backs in our league."

The five-time MLS champion Galaxy, a first-round loser to Seattle in last year's MLS playoffs, kick off the 2016 MLS campaign on home on March 6 against DC United.

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