Ashley Cole

CARSON, Calif. – Ashley Cole never pictured himself a captain, but upon returning to the LA Galaxy for the 2018 campaign, the legendary English defender knew that it was time to take the next step in his illustrious career.

Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid confirmed following the team’s final match of the preseason that the 37-year-old would serve as the team’s captain for the 2018 season. A staple along the left side of the back four, Cole made 29 appearances for the squad a season ago in his second year with the club.

“Ashley was an important guy for us to bring back this year because his spirit is infectious,” head coach Sigi Schmid said. “His willingness to communicate with guys in the locker room and what he brings shows that he loves to play the game.

“Last year, he was a little hesitant, but this year, it was something that he wanted the part. I always think it’s best when players want it, but I can tell within the group how much respect he has.”

Despite boasting a resume that few players could match in global soccer, Cole was initially hesitant to take the armband. More of a leader by example than a vocal Keane-esque captain, Cole believes that the time is now to climb out of his comfort zone and lead Schmid’s new look Galaxy.

“This year, I came back to try to make this team great once again. I want to win trophies. When it comes to [the captaincy], I'm ready to take it and ready to lead this team to win,” Cole said. “Personally, I’m not someone that rants and raves in the changing room to get them up for the game. I do it now, but I’ve always been the type of player that leads by example. Hopefully, that can be my role. When the guys need a kick up the ass, I’ll be there to give it to them.

“But because you wear the armband doesn’t mean that you’re the only one who speaks or gives opinions. We have a lot of leaders with a lot of MLS experience. I’ll need those guys around me to help us come together as a group. Last year, we didn’t have too many people that wanted to step up, but now we do."