REVEALED: Sitcom Star, Champ Man Legend & Bosnian Baggio Amongst Gerrard’s New Teammates


So now the cat is out of the expensive designer bag, and glamorous Los Angeles will be Steven Gerrard’s home once he brings the curtain down on his Liverpool career at the end of the season.

The Reds captain has been used to playing alongside the likes of Xabi Alonso, Luis Suarez, the good Fernando Torres and, er, Djimi Traore at Anfield, but what about his new teammates and opponents in America?

Here we take a look at some of them, and uncover some interesting tales.

 

Robbie Keane

Liverpool v Bolton Wanderers - Premier League : News Photo

Perhaps one of the key reasons behind Gerrard’s move to LA is his friendship with Robbie Keane, with whom he shares the same agent and who he played alongside for six months at Anfield.

That spell might not have worked out for the Irishman but he is still the 12th highest-scoring Premier League player ever with 126 goals, 10 ahead of Gerrard, and he was voted the Most Valuable Player in MLS last season after leading the Galaxy to their record fifth title.

 

Stefan Ishizaki

If your first act on Championship Manager 2001/02 wasn’t to head straight over to AIK and snap up a bargain 19-year-old Swedish midfielder by the name of Stefan Ishizaki then you were doing it wrong.

The teenager blossomed into one of the great players in the game, but in real life Ishizaki’s closest brush with superstardom was a four-game loan spell in Serie A with Genoa.

He won 13 Sweden caps over the space of 11 years, playing for AIK, Valarenga and Elfsborg before his switch to the Galaxy early last year.

 

Robbie Rogers

2014 MLS Cup - New England Revolution v Los Angeles Galaxy : News Photo

Formerly of Leeds United and an 18-times capped US international, full-back Robbie Rogers retired from professional football at the age of just 25 in February 2013, before immediately coming out as gay.

The overwhelmingly positive response from the sporting world convinced Rogers that he could return to the game, and he immediately signed a contract with the Galaxy and went straight into the side which would win the championship in 2014.

As one of the few openly gay male professional athletes Rogers has been credited with blazing a trail, and a sitcom based on his life has even been commissioned in America, where it will run on the ABC network this year.

WATCH: Steven Gerrard's 20 Greatest Liverpool Goals

 

Omar Gonzalez

The ‘Designated Player’ rule in MLS allows clubs to both attract big names like Gerrard and hold on to their homegrown stars by paying them wages above the division’s salary cap.

It is the latter which is true for defender Omar Gonzalez, who played in three of the USA’s matches at the 2014 World Cup and has developed a reputation as one of the strongest defenders in the league, so much so that Liverpool might like the look of him should they decide to check on Gerrard.

 

‘Baggio’ Husidic

Colorado Rapids v Los Angeles Galaxy : News Photo

A man who insists on calling himself after an Italian football legend is okay by us, and Adis ‘Baggio’ Husidic could partner Gerrard in midfield in LA, where he moved to from Hammarby at the end of 2013.

A Bosnian who earned US citizenship in college, Husidic was first given the nickname Baggio by his dad, and has decided to keep it to this day. He describes himself as a ‘dog and cat owner’ to his 832 followers on Twitter, where he is pictured wearing an Arsenal shirt.

 

Gyasi Zardes

Having had the honour of playing for two of the best-named teams in the world in the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners and Ventura County Fusion, California boy Gyasi Zardes enjoyed his breakthrough season in 2014, scoring 16 goals as Keane’s strike partner.

Eligible for either the US or Ghana, Jurgen Klinsmann could do with getting a move on and snapping up the 23-year-old who broke the MLS record for the most goals by a homegrown player last season.

Why the time is right for Steven Gerrard to leave Liverpool

 

Some of Gerrard’s opponents:

Bradley Wright-Phillips – New York Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls v Los Angeles Galaxy : News Photo

Formerly of Manchester City, Southampton, Plymouth, Charlton and Brentford, Shaun’s younger brother has been nothing short of a revelation since moving to New York in 2013. He scored 27 goals last season, including three hat-tricks.

 

Obafemi Martins – Seattle Sounders

Last seen on these shores scoring the goal which won Birmingham the League Cup at Arsenal’s expense in 2011, ex-Newcastle man Obafemi Martins is still ‘only 30’ and is banging in the goals for fun in Seattle.

 

Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders

England's midfielder Steven Gerrard (L) : News Photo

He almost joined Gerrard at Liverpool in 2012, but Clint ‘Deuce’ Dempsey will go back to being on opposite sides to LA Galaxy’s new star following his days at Fulham and Tottenham. The pair were both on the scoresheet in the same game at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa – the infamous Rob Green match.