Wilhelmsson excited for American adventure
CARSON, Calif. – Signed and delivered as the newest member of the LA Galaxy, Swedish winger Christian Wilhelmsson is eager to contribute to his new club.
Just days after joining the Galaxy for training late last week and with a Reserve League stint already under his belt, Wilhelmsson signed officially for LA on Wednesday morning. A winger who is comfortable on either flank, Wilhelmsson brings an illustrious resume that includes stops in top clubs in Italy, Belgium and England as well as nearly 80 appearances for his native Sweden.
Wilhelmsson admits that while he joined the Galaxy just days after his training stint began, the process leading to his deal with LA was weeks in the making.
“It was late in August, I got the opportunity to have a dialogue with the club and everything turned up well and I’m very happy and excited to be here,” said Wilhelmsson. “[The Galaxy is] a great club. You can see LA games even in Europe, they have great players, the coach and everyone is very professional and good to work with. It’s great.”
Wilhelmsson will become available for selection upon the arrival of his P-1 Visa and his International Transfer Certificate. Once those documents arrive, the Swedish International is expected to play a major role in the Galaxy’s offense providing LA with a polished wide threat that can play on either flank.
The Galaxy’s captain, midfielder Landon Donovan admits that the addition of Wilhelmsson could pay off major dividends for a club in the thick of the MLS Cup playoff chase.
“I’ve only seen him train once now and we all know his resume speaks for itself, but I think that it’s low risk and potentially really high reward for us,” Donovan told reporters. “We’re fortunate at this club that we get a number of players that reach out and want to play here. It’s a big advantage for us and if he can help us along the way then it will be great.”
Aside from Tuesday’s Reserve League stint, Wilhelmsson’s last game came on August 15, playing for Sweden in a friendly against Brazil in Stockholm. While the winger admits that the “trainings haven’t been the best” since his arrival in the U.S., he is working to get himself fit.
“It’s not where it should be, but that’s normal in the beginning,” said Wilhelmsson. “So that’s why I’m trying to work very hard in training, before and after to get the level back. They’re helping me and I’m on the right way.”
Once the Swede gets going, he has no doubt that he’ll be able to help the Galaxy on their race to repeat as MLS Cup champions.
“I hope that I can make something and make difference in games,” said Wilhelmsson. “I’ll try to do my best to help the team I’m very excited to get on the field and to help them.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider.