CARSON, Calif. (Monday, January 13, 2014) – The LA Galaxy announced today that the club has signed veteran forward Rob Friend from German club TSV 1860 Munich, pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC). A 32-year-old former Canadian international, Friend has spent the entirety of his club career playing in Europe, spending time in Norway, Holland and Germany. Over the course of his 11-year professional career, the 6-foot, 5-inch forward has tallied more than 75 goals across nearly 260 league appearances with eight clubs. Per club and league policy terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“The addition of Rob Friend to our roster brings a different dimension to our attack,” said LA Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena. “Rob is a veteran player with a scoring pedigree and we are excited to bolster our roster by bringing him to LA.”
Originally selected by the Chicago Fire in the fourth round of the 2003 MLS SuperDraft, Friend elected to begin his professional career in Europe, signing with Moss in Norway’s Second Division. He scored 16 goals in a season and a half for the club before transferring to fellow Norwegian side Molde. Playing in the Tippeligaen (Norway’s First Division), Friend scored 14 goals in 40 league games while also helping his team win the 2005 Norwegian Football Cup. In June 2006, Friend moved to Holland, signing with Heerenveen in the Dutch Eredivisie. He split the season with Heerenveen, scoring five times in 19 appearances, and fellow Eredivisie side Heracles Almelo, who he joined on loan in January 2007, scoring three times in 12 games.
After just one season in Holland, Friend was on the move again, moving to Germany ahead of the start of the 2007-08 campaign. He signed with Borussia Monchengladbach in July 2007 and went on to enjoy his finest season as a professional, scoring 18 goals in 33 league games and leading his side to the 2. Bundesliga title and promotion to the German Bundesliga. He would spend the next two seasons in the Bundesliga, scoring 10 goals in 50 games for Monchengladbach before being sold to Hertha Berlin of the 2. Bundesliga ahead of the start of the 2010/11 season. In his first season in Berlin, Friend helped lead his team back to the Bundesliga, scoring five times in the league while adding one in the DFB Pokal. Friend returned to the 2. Bundesliga the following season, joining Eintracht Frankfurt for the 2011/12 campaign, and earned promotion to the Bundesliga for a third time in his career, scoring once in 13 appearances for the club as they finished second in the league to claim the league’s second automatic promotion spot. Friend has spent the last year and a half playing in the 2. Bundesliga with TSV 1860 Munich, making 24 appearances for the club and scoring five times including once in 12 appearances in all competitions during the 2013/14 campaign.
In addition to his club career, Friend also made 32 appearances for the Canadian National Team, scoring twice and adding two assists. Born in Rosetown, Saskatchewan and raised in Kelowna, British Columbia, he made his international debut on January 18, 2003 against the United States and scored the first goal for his country on September 4, 2006 in a 1-0 win over Jamaica. A member of the Canadian squad at the 2007 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups, Friend’s last goal for his country came May 2008 in a friendly against Brazil.
Prior to beginning his professional career, Friend played college soccer at Western Michigan and UC Santa Barbara. After recording nine goals and six assists in two years at Western Michigan, Friend starred at Santa Barbara, scoring 31 goals and adding nine assists in 40 games for the Gauchos while claiming at least a share of the Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Year award in each of his two seasons at the school. Friend also claimed NSCAA and College Soccer News All-American honors as a senior in 2002 when he set a school record with 20 goals, including at least one in his first 11 games of the season.
Fans can watch Friend 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.