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Jelle Van Damme inks contract extension with LA Galaxy

The big Belgian is now a DP

MLS: Conference Semifinals-Colorado Rapids at Los Angeles Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Jelle has penned a new contract, and this time, he’s making the big bucks.

This morning the LA Galaxy signed defender Jelle Van Damme to a contract extension.

Obviously this is great news. The MLS Defender of the Year nominee was the Galaxy’s most valuable player last season.

“Jelle showed last season that he is undoubtedly one of the best defenders in Major League Soccer,” echoed LA Galaxy GM Peter Vagenas. “His contract will still give us the flexibility to bolster our roster during the summer. He is a leader, a winner and a competitor and will continue to be a centerpiece along our backline. We are thrilled to have Jelle as a member of the Galaxy for years to come.”

Van Damme joined LA last offseason from Belgian side Standard Liege and went on to make 29 appearances for LA during the regular season in addition to three more during the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, which all came as all starts. Van Damme also led a Galaxy defense that allowed just 39 goals on the season, tied for the third-fewest in Major League Soccer, which gave LA the league’s second-best goal differential (+15).

Prior to his time in Los Angeles, Van Damme recorded a decorated career in Europe, most notably with Standard Liege in Belgium, where he captained the side and made 205 appearances after joining the team in 2011. In addition to Standard Liege, the defender has had stints with Germinal Beerschot (Belgium), Ajax (Netherlands), Southampton (England), Werder Bremen (Germany), Anderlecht (Belgium) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (England). He has also made 30 appearances for the Belgium national team.