The LA Galaxy have completed the transfer of defender Jelle Van Damme to Royal Antwerp F.C. in the Jupiler Pro League, Belgium’s top-flight division, the club announced today. The Galaxy receive $235,000 from Antwerp F.C. for Van Damme, 33, who departs from the Galaxy after joining the club on a free transfer prior to the 2016 MLS season, making 46 appearances over two years.
“Jelle came to us and requested to return home to Belgium to be closer to his children,” LA Galaxy General Manager Pete Vagenas said. “We worked closely with Jelle and Royal Antwerp so that we could make this move possible for Jelle and his family. Our top priority remains the success of the LA Galaxy. We thank him for his time with our club and wish him the best going forward.”
Van Damme made 46 appearances, all starts, for the LA Galaxy since joining the club before the start of the 2016 MLS Regular Season. This year, the veteran defender was named team captain. During his time with the club, he earned honors as a 2016 MLS Best XI Defender, two-time MLS All-Star and was named the 2016 LA Galaxy Defender of the Year.
Prior to playing in Los Angeles, Van Damme spent time in Europe with Standard Liege in Belgium along 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 LA Galaxy are in action next when they travel to Columbus for a match against Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday, Aug. 23 live on Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes.