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LA Galaxy sign defender Derrick Williams

Republic of Ireland international won’t take up international slot.

Robert Mora/LA Galaxy

After rumors had swirled on two continents that it was imminent, the LA Galaxy made it official Thursday, announcing the signing of defender Derrick Williams on a two-year contract with an option for an additional year.

Williams comes from English Championship team Blackburn Rovers, and was due to be out of contract in a few months, and presumably joins on a free contract. As part of the deal, the Galaxy had to execute a trade for Williams’ MLS Discovery Rights, so they are sending $75,000 General Allocation Money in 2021 and $50,000 in 2022 GAM to D.C. United, who held his Discovery Rights.

Williams, 28, joins after playing his entire career previously in England, for Aston Villa, Bristol City and Blackburn Rovers. He’s played in the Premier League, Championship and League One, and at Bristol City and Blackburn, the center back was a regular for many years, making over 100 appearances at each club.

He’s also a Republic of Ireland international, making three senior appearances since debuting in 2018. However, he won’t take up an international slot on the Galaxy roster, as he was born to American parents, and therefore is an American citizen.

“Derrick is an experienced defender who has played at a high level in England and internationally,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese in a team statement. “We believe Derrick will strengthen our defense and add competition to the position. We are excited to have Derrick join the squad and look forward to his contributions to the club.”

Williams is already with the Galaxy, clearing quarantine and while the season isn’t scheduled to begin until Apr. 17, Williams reportedly is rehabbing from quad surgery and may need to wait a bit longer beyond the start of the season to see some action, but that’s something to be confirmed with the club at a later date. For now, Williams is in the squad and will be adjusting to life in California while he works his way to fitness.

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