CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid believes the signing of Jorgen Skjelvik will greatly strengthen a defense seeking to rebuild after a frustrating 2017 campaign.
The Galaxy announced the deal for the top Norwegian defender on Thursday. Skjelvik, 26, spent the last four-and-a-half years with Norwegian giants Rosenberg, is the club’s first signing of the offseason.
"He's a central defender who has very good speed and is good on the ball," Schmid told LA Galaxy Insider on Thursday. "He is something that we were looking to add to our squad and also brings attributes that we were looking to improve upon. He comes to us at a very good age and I think that his best soccer is still ahead of him."
The defender, who can play both center back and outside back, made more than 160 appearances for the Norwegian giants, notching six goals and 13 assists for the club. During his nine-year career in Europe, Skjelvik made stops in Norway and Sweden, while making seven appearances for the Norwegian national team.
Skjelvik joins the defense that is in flux after conceding a club record 67 times a year ago. Only defenders Hugo Arellano, Michael Ciani, Dave Romney, and Daniel Steres remain from the 2017 defense corps, with the team still in talks to bring Ashley Cole back for a third season in Los Angeles.
For Schmid, Skjelvik is an exciting asset as he seeks to return the team to their winning ways.
"His speed will allow us to play a higher line and push up a bit higher so that we can play a bit more compact," Schmid said. "Offensively, his passing out of the back is very good and he's a player that can find some of our attacking players in pockets on the offensive end of the field, which will make it easier for them to get past the line of defense."