Chad Barrett is bound for Norway.
The LA Galaxy announced on Tuesday that the 27-year-old forward will join Oslo-based Norwegian club Vålerenga on loan. Barrett departs the Galaxy after a near nine-year stint in MLS with stops at the Chicago Fire, Toronto FC and the Galaxy. In 2012, Barrett made 21 appearances in all competitions tallying one goal and four assists.
Although Barrett enjoyed his year-and-a-half long stint with the Galaxy—a stint that included an MLS Cup championship—he told reporters on Wednesday that it was time to leave.
WATCH: Barrett discusses loan to Vålerenga
“I love the guys in this team, even when I was away on my trial, I missed playing with them. At the same time, it was something that I needed to do for me personally. The guys were on fire here and we’re really deep at forward,” said Barrett. “I was approached by my agent, who said there was interest overseas and it was a team that I almost went with when I was with Toronto.
“The coach [Martin Andresen] was still there and asked if I’d be interested, he said yes. Bruce [Arena] was nice enough to let me go so I went on trial there. I loved it; it was a different kind of good, in every aspect. I lose the beach, I get the culture. I lose the team; I get a new set of good guys.”
Barrett will depart for Norway on Wednesday morning, where he may begin playing as early as Friday’s game against FC Haugesund but on Tuesday, the 27-year-old forward trained with his Galaxy teammates for a final time. A training session that Barrett admitted was an emotional experience.
“These guys are like my family,” said Barrett. “I wanted to spend one last day with them and it was great to be able to practice with them and knock the ball around one last time. I wish them all the best; I know that they’re going to win it again this year especially with the way that they’ve been playing.”
The move to Norway comes several years in the making for Barrett, who nearly joined Vålerenga prior to joining Toronto FC in 2008. Barrett admits that he was “50/50” on joining the Norwegian club back then, but cited maturity concerns and his desire to finish classes at UCLA as his reasons for staying in MLS.
However, with his MLS contract ending at years end, Barrett believes that the time to move is now.
“It could be. With all the pay raises for next year and obviously, I didn’t produce as well as I should of, so there are a lot of factors that go into it,” said Barrett. “Ultimately, this is probably what is best for me at this particular juncture. Like I said, I hate bringing politics into this locker [room], but that’s why we have agents and sometimes you got to do it.”
Barrett will join a Vålerenga side in need of a goal scorer as the club is currently in sixth place in the Norwegian Tippeligaen. The club sits five points out of third place Rosenborg and a lucrative UEFA Europa League spot.
While Barrett’s status on the game day roster for The Bohemians’ match against Haugesund on Monday is still up in the air, the club’s expectations are clear.
“Goals. Put the ball in the back of the net,” Barrett said. “They’re pretty upbeat about me coming up there so as soon as I get there, I’m sure that it’ll take me one or two weeks to get my sleep schedule right and the jet lag gone. Once that is gone, I’m looking forward to getting down to business and try to help them finish in the top three."
His time with the Galaxy over for now, Barrett is excited for the challenge that Norway will provide.
“It’s going to be an interesting and eye-opening experience,” said Barrett. “But I moved every three years of my life so I’m used to it and I take it as a new adventure and I look forward to it."
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider