LA Galaxy sign defender Derrick Williams from Blackburn

MLS Soccer

CARSON, Calif. (AP)The LA Galaxy have signed Irish international defender Derrick Williams.

The Galaxy announced the move Thursday for Williams, who made 10 appearances this season for Blackburn Rovers in England’s second division.

The 28-year-old Williams joined Blackburn in 2016, following three seasons with Bristol City. He underwent surgery on his quadriceps last December to repair an injury that was expected to sideline him for a few months, but the Galaxy said Williams has passed his medical exams and finished the mandated quarantine period.

Williams was born in Germany to two American parents, so he won’t occupy an international roster spot for the Galaxy. He plays for Ireland internationally through his mother’s heritage, and he scored his first goal for the senior team in November 2019.

Williams agreed to a two-year deal with an option year with the Galaxy, who have struggled defensively throughout the past half-decade. The five-time MLS Cup champion franchise has made just one playoff appearance in the past four years, finishing a miserable 10th in the Western Conference last season.

Although the Galaxy have spent several months attempting – and so far failing – to secure the return of star winger Cristian Pavon from Argentina’s Boca Juniors, they have made several promising changes to their defense.

Along with Williams, LA added defender Jorge Villafana in January in a trade with Portland and signed MLS veteran defender Oniel Fisher in February. The Galaxy also acquired English goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.

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