2016: In his first year in MLS, Van Damme was quick to win over Galaxy fans playing with a consistent passion and aggression that made him the headliner of one of the league’s finest defensive outfits. Van Damme started in all 28 of his MLS appearances while recording four assists including a game-winning playoff assist in Leg 1 of the Western Conference Semifinal against Colorado Rapids. Van Damme was nominated to the MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week four times in 2016. He won LA Galaxy Defender of the Year and was nominated as a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year and MLS Newcomer of the Year.
Van Damme joined LA Galaxy in January of 2016 after making over 200 appearances for Belgian side Standard Liege since 2011.
In addition to Standard Liege, the defender has had stints with Germinal Beerschot (Belgium), Ajax (Netherlands), Southampton (England), Werder Bremen (Germany), Anderlecht (Belgium) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (England). He has also made 30 appearances for the Belgium national team.
The defender made his professional debut in 2001 with Germinal Beerschot of the Jupiler League in Belgium. The following year, he signed with Ajax, Netherland’s most accomplished club. While with the Dutch side, Van Damme made 22 appearances and helped lead his team to the 2003-04 Eredivisie league title while also featuring in the UEFA Champions League.
Following a brief stint with Southampton in England and a loan spell with Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga, Van Damme returned to his native Belgium to sign with Anderlecht in 2006. In four years with the club, he helped his side capture the Belgian League title (2006-07, 2009-10), the Belgian Cup (2007-08) and the Belgian Super Cup (2006, 2007). He also scored 18 goals and added 23 assists from his position in defense.
Van Damme featured for Wolverhampton Wanderers in England’s Premier League in 2010 before signing with Standard Liege the following year. While with the historic Belgian club, he scored 22 goals and notched an additional 27 assists in his 205 total appearances.
Van Damme has featured extensively for the Belgium National Team, making 30 appearances since his debut in 2003. As an international, he has appeared in multiple UEFA EURO qualifiers and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.