CARSON, Calif. (Monday, December 12, 2011) – Former LA Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter, who announced his retirement from the sport earlier this year, has been named the new head coach of Hammarby of the Swedish Superettan, which is the second division of soccer in Sweden. Berhalter had spent the 2011 season as a player/assistant coach for the Galaxy, helping lead the club to their second straight Supporters’ Shield and first MLS Cup championship since 2005. This will be the first-ever job as a head coach at the professional level for Berhalter, who holds his UEFA B coaching license.
"I am excited for the challenge that lies ahead and could not be more thankful to AEG and everyone at Hammarby for giving me the opportunity,” Berhalter said. “While I am saddened to leave a club that means so much to me, I feel that my experiences with the Galaxy both on and off the field have helped prepare me for the journey that lies ahead."
Berhalter spent the last three years with the Galaxy, concluding an 18-year playing career that saw him play in Holland, England and Germany in addition to his time in MLS. During his time with the Galaxy, Berhalter appeared in 52 regular season games and five postseason games, tallying a goal and an assist in those contests while helping turn the LA defense into one of the league’s best. In the 57 MLS games that Berhalter played in for the Galaxy, the club kept 29 clean sheets, including three in his five postseason appearances. The most famous of those games came in the 2009 Western Conference Championship when Berhalter scored the only goal of his Galaxy career, tallying the game-winner in extra time of LA’s 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo, which propelled the Galaxy into MLS Cup 2009.
Hammarby, who won the Allsvenskan (Swedish first division) championship in 2001, but were relegated to the Superettan in 2009, are partially owned by AEG and feature current Galaxy Academy Senior Director Chris Klein on their Board. They finished 11th in the 2011 Swedish Superettan, which ended in October, and went out in the second round of the Svenska Cupen after reaching the tournament final the previous year. The club’s 2012 season, which begins in April, will be their final season playing in the club’s current home stadium, the Söderstadion. They are scheduled to move into their new stadium in time for the start of the 2013 campaign.
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WATCH: Berhalter reflects on career