Galaxy sign Swedish midfielder Ishizaki

StefanIshizakiElfsborg1 (BildByrån)

By DAN KARELL

The LA Galaxy addressed another one of their offseason needs on Thursday with the signing of Stefan Ishizaki.

The Galaxy announced that they have signed the Swedish midfielder pending a physical, the receipt of his international transfer certificate, and his P-1 visa. In the meantime, Ishizaki is already training with the Galaxy.

“Stefan is an excellent addition to our team,” LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “He is an experienced player, an exceptional passer and a proven winner.”

A right-sided midfielder, the 31-year-old Ishizaki helps improve a Galaxy midfield that was thin on the wings, especially with the departure of Hector Jimenez. Ishizaki spent the last eight years with Swedish Allsvenskan club Elfsborg, where he made more than 180 league appearances and more than 40 appearances in European competitions. Prior to Elfsborg, Ishizaki had stints at Italian club Genoa and Norwegian side Vålerenga.

Ishizaki became a professional in 1999 with AIK Stockholm, staying there until 2004. He also made 13 appearances for the Swedish national team, though most came during the winter breaks.

“I had an offer from MLS a couple years ago, but I still had a long contract with my old club, but once my agent told me that LA was interested, it was just an easy decision,” Ishizaki told LA Galaxy Insider. “I’m quite calm with the ball. I usually play on the right wing. I’ve had experience playing with the national team, in Italy and I think that I bring experience here to the Galaxy.”

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What do you think of this news? Think it’s a good signing? How does this affect Robbie Rogers? What kind of Impact will Ishizaki have this season?

Share your thoughts below.

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14 Responses to Galaxy sign Swedish midfielder Ishizaki

  1. Fredo says:

    The New Swede sounds promising. Bruce now has someone to launch balls to the heads of his new big forwards. I’m hopeful.

  2. Gary Page says:

    Their last Swedish player was a disappointment and he had a better resume than this guy. I haven’t been impressed with the Galaxy signings this off season.

    • Nick in LA says:

      He wasn’t a disappointment at all. He did what he was supposed to do and disrupted the other team’s defensive flow. He made it so, at any one time, the defense had to account for him while marking Keane and Donovan, resulting in Keane and Donovan being open more. Then factor in Magee slipping from the other side and you have goals galore. In the final he more than held his own including an actually great defensive performance.

      If he had come back the next year and gotten more on the same page with Franklin, our attack would have been devastating and we’d have hoisted our third straight MLS Cup.

      • soccerhorn says:

        You’re kidding, right? Willy-goal will forever be known as they white-haired guy who had the worst game of anyone on the field in the 2012 MLS Cup. Go look at his opta stats. He completed three out of 24 passes. Arena yanked him at the hour.

      • White Kix says:

        That guy was great at getting into dangerous positions with the ball….and then completly blowing it. There was no need to mark the guy, because he would miss the final pass or fall over the ball. His play was a lot like Ochocinco’s would have been had he played at KC. Run by the defender, recieve the ball and then trip over it. He was one of the most painful players I have ever seen play the game. So to make sure I am clear in what I am saying…

        He was the worst player in the history of MLS

    • Ian says:

      I’m not sure Wilhelmsson had a more impressive resume. Both played for the national team. Ishizaki has been a one-club man since 2006, where Wilhelmsson bounced around to 9 different clubs in the same period of time. I’ll take longevity over journeyman-ity.

  3. soccerhorn says:

    This guy is clearly being brought in as an insurance policy against the very real possibility of Robbie Rogers or Gyasi Zardes falling flat on their faces – again. Zardes has speed and athleticism and perhaps the worst shot the MLS has ever seen. Dude couldn’t finish to save his life. Check the stats – 79 shots on goal – four goals. Ouch. No wonder they started calling him “The Blind Donkey.”

    All that said, he still looked like Christiano Ronaldo compared to Rogers, who contributed so little on the pitch last season that his presence pretty much guaranteed the Galaxy had to convert to a “down a man” formation until Rogers limped off with yet another niggling tweak of one precious muscle or another. Do we need to be reminded? #worsttradeinMLShistory

    So, yeah, given Arena’s penchant for veterans who can only do a few things, but do them well, I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy starts finding more and more playing time as the season rolls on, rather than less.

  4. Siberian says:

    I have no idea who this guy is. Maybe he is pretty good, but if not, I think the Galaxy are just falling further behind the league. They haven’t added much this offseason and other teams have gotten better. The Galaxy are a playoff team but I don’t think they win anything this year.

    • unbeknownst says:

      I disagree. I think out of the playoff teams last season, the Galaxy have improved their roster more, and have addressed their holes and issues more then any other playoff team.

      Who did the Galaxy lose this year? Franklin? AJDLG is just as good as Franklin at RB.

  5. David K says:

    I think it is all pretty much blind speculation until anyone sees him play. Its not like Bruce Arena has a poor track record of IDing talent. He has done it time and time again, with a few busts I’ll admit, throughout the history of the league. I think maybe he wasn’t totally confident with his #9 picks that’s why he got two of them. It seems like he brought this guy in for some very specific reasons, I be he has a clear role cut out for this guy.