CARSON, Calif. – Jorgen Skjelvik knows the pressures that come with signing with Major League Soccer’s premier club, and the LA Galaxy’s newest central defender relishes the challenge.
The Galaxy added the 26-year-old Norwegian defender in the offseason as part of Sigi Schmid’s comprehensive makeover of a squad that finished last in MLS a year ago. Skjelvik arrives at StubHub Center after making 163 appearances and tallying six goals with 13 assists for Norwegian giants Rosenborg BK.
After spending the last four years at Norway’s most celebrated club, the central defender believes he’s uniquely qualified to help return the Galaxy to prominence.
“I played in a big club in Norway, a team that had the same pressure where we had to win every year, just like we do here,” Skjelvik told LA Galaxy Insider. “I got a lot of experience in that environment and playing in Europe with the national team. I’m ready to contribute and create a strong defense that doesn’t concede many goals.
“We just have to focus. There will always be pressure. We just need to be strong mentally and go hard. Don’t overthink, just be strong.”
A speedy yet technical central defender, Skjelvik is expected to slot in on day one in Schmid’s starting lineup for the 2018 season. Although he’s the odds-on favorite to serve as the new leader of the Galaxy’s back four, the experienced defender is putting all his thought into settling into his new surroundings.
“We have a great group," he said. "We’ve just got to get everyone in shape and then we’ll see how this all goes.”