LA Galaxy sign Swedish midfielder Stefan Ishizaki
CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, January 30, 2014) – The LA Galaxy announced today that the club has signed Swedish midfielder Stefan Ishizaki. A right-sided player, the 31-year-old former Swedish international has spent the majority of his career playing in his native country, spending the past eight seasons with Elfsborg in Sweden’s Allsvenskan (First Division) and helping them win a pair of championships. Ishizaki will be added to the Galaxy roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P1 Visa. Per MLS and club policy, details of the deal were not disclosed.
“Stefan is an excellent addition to our team,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena. “He is an experienced player, an exceptional passer and a proven winner.”
A product of Stockholm, Sweden, Ishizaki began his professional career with AIK at the age of 16, helping them win the Svenska Cupen in his first year with the club. He made his Allsvenskan debut in 2000, playing in 21 games for AIK, scoring three times. Those were the first of 17 league goals that he would score in six seasons for AIK, with who he appeared in 103 league matches. After spending the second half of the 2003/04 Italian Serie B season with Genoa, making four appearances, Ishizaki returned to Sweden for the 2004 season with AIK. However, despite four goals from Ishizaki, AIK were relegated to the Superettan (Second Division) for the first time in 25 years.
With AIK relegated, Ishizaki left the club, signing with Norwegian side Valerenga, who he helped to a Tippeligaen (Premier League) championship, scoring twice in 15 games. After spending just a single season in Norway, Ishizaki returned to Sweden in 2006, signing with Elfsborg. He would go on to spend eight seasons with the Boras-based club, winning a pair of championships, claiming the Swedish Allsvenskan in 2006, Ishizaki’s first season with the club, and again in 2012. Elfsborg qualified for European competition in each of Ishizaki’s first seven years with the club and he departs having scored 48 goals in 183 league appearances for the club, while also appearing in more than 40 games for the club in the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Cup and Intertoto Cup. In Ishizaki’s eight years with Elfsborg, the club finished outside the top four of the Allsvenskan just once.
Ishizaki made his international debut in January 2001 at the age of 18 in a 0-0 draw against the Faroe Islands as part of the 2000-01 Nordic Football Championship, debuting alongside former Galaxy midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson. That was the first of 13 caps that he collected for his country, having last been capped in January 2012 in a 2-0 win over Bahrain. Sweden were 5-2-6 in the 13 games that Ishizaki played in for his country, including a 3-0-5 record when he started a game.
Fans can watch Ishizaki and the rest of the Galaxy all season long at StubHub Center as season tickets for the 2014 MLS season are on sale now, starting at just $250. Becoming a Galaxy Season Ticket Member gives fans the opportunity to see every Galaxy home game as well as number of additional benefits such as access to Town Hall meetings with Galaxy leaders, discounts on additional single game tickets, entrance into the club’s new Season Ticket Member loyalty program and much more as well as discounts at all TEAM LA locations and on select camps at the Galaxy Soccer Center in Torrance. For more information about becoming a Galaxy Season Ticket Member, please call 877-3GALAXY (342-5299) or visit www.lagalaxy.com/tickets.