CARSON, Calif. - The LA Galaxy announced Friday that the club has signed defender Gregg Berhalter. The 35-year-old New Jersey native is a veteran of the U.S. National Team, having earned 44 caps during an 11-year international career that included a trip to the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. Berhalter comes to the Galaxy following a 15-year club career that has seen him play in England, Germany and Holland. He arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday evening and trained with the Galaxy for the first time on Friday. He is eligible to make his debut for the club in Saturday's game against the Colorado Rapids.
"I'm really excited to be back in the U.S. and to be joining the Galaxy," Berhalter said. "I always wanted to play in MLS and the timing was perfect. I'd like to thank Bruce Arena and the entire Galaxy management for making this happen, and I'm looking forward to having success here."
"Gregg is an experienced and knowledgeable defender who will be an excellent addition to our club," Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena added. "He is a good passer and organizer of the defense and I believe that he will help improve our team in the defensive end of the field."
A member of the U.S. National Team for more than a decade, Berhalter claimed the first cap of his international career on October 15, 1994, coming on as substitute in a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He was a part of the U.S. team that reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea and played in two games at the tournament, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 win over Mexico in the Round of 16 and the 1-0 loss to Germany. Originally named an alternate for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Berhalter was added to the squad as an injury replacement for Cory Gibbs who was forced to withdraw prior to the start of the World Cup, but he did not appear in any of the three games in which the U.S. played. He also helped the National Team reach the semifinals of the 1995 Copa America in Uruguay, while also representing his country at the 1999 Confederations Cup in Mexico, helping the U.S. to the third place finish, and the 2003 Confederations Cup in France.
Additionally, the two-time All-American at the University of North Carolina was the captain of the U.S. Under-20 National Team which finished eighth at the 1993 World Youth Championship in Australia, playing the full 90 minutes in all four games that the U.S. played in.
Berhalter's club career began in 1994 when he elected to forgo his senior season at the University of North Carolina to sign with Dutch Eerste Divisie (Second Division) side, FC Zwolle. After two years with the club, in which he appeared in more than 40 games, Berhalter signed with Sparta Rotterdam in May 1996. He spent two seasons in the Eredivisie with Sparta, missing much of his second season with an ankle injury, before signing with fellow Eredivisie club Cambuur Leeuwarden at the end of the 1997-98 campaign. Fully recovered from his injury, Berhalter was a regular in the Cambuur team during his two seasons, playing in more than 50 games and scoring twice for the club. However, Cambuur was relegated to the Eerste Divisie following the 1999-2000 season and he left the club on a free transfer.
After six years in Holland, Berhalter moved to England, signing with Crystal Palace of the English First Division (now the Championship), where he was joined by current Galaxy teammate Jovan Kirovski. In the summer of 2002, he became the first player in Palace history to play at the World Cup, but he left the club shortly after the start of the 2002-03 season, moving to Germany to sign with Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus.
Berhalter spent four years with Cottbus, appearing in more than 100 games for the club in both the Bundesliga (2002-03) and the Second Bundesliga (2003-06). He scored nine goals during his four seasons with Cottbus, serving as the club's captain during his final two years there and helping them achieve promotion back to the Bundesliga following the 2005-06 season. After that season, Berhalter moved once again, signing with TSV 1860 Munich of the Second Bundesliga. He spent nearly three seasons with the club, appearing in more than 75 games and scoring nine goals before being agreeing to a mutual release from his contract earlier this week.
Berhalter and the Galaxy are back in action this weekend for a game against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, April 4, before hosting the same team in a U.S. Open Cup Play-In Game on Tuesday, April 7. Tickets for these games and all Galaxy home games are on sale now. For more information about these games or to purchase tickets, please call 1-877-3GALAXY or visit www.lagalaxy.com.
NAME: Gregg Berhalter
DATE OF BIRTH: August 1,1973 in Englewood, N.J.
HOMETOWN: Tenafly, N.J.
LAST CLUB: TSV 1860 Munich (Germany)
COLLEGE: North Carolina
ROSTER DESIGNATION: Senior Roster
SQUAD NUMBER: 16
TRANSACTION - LA Galaxy sign defender Gregg Berhalter.