Galaxy ink Tottenham goalkeper Cudicini on free transfer

Carlo Cudicini

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The LA Galaxy announced Monday that the club has signed goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini on a free transfer from Tottenham Hotspur pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and work visa as well as Cudicini passing his medical examination.

Cudicini will not occupy a Designated Player spot on the Galxay's roster.

A two-time Premier League winner during his time at Chelsea, Cudicini comes to the Galaxy after spending more than a decade competing in the Premier League, first with Chelsea from the start of the 1999-2000 season until January 2009, when he joined Tottenham, where he has been ever since.

The 39-year-old, who played the full 90 minutes for Tottenham in their friendly against the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center in July, made one appearance during the 2012-13 campaign for his club, helping Tottenham claim a 3-0 win over Carlisle United in the third round of the Capital One Cup on Sept. 26.

Although he has struggled to find starting minutes behind American goalkeeper Brad Friedel, it's assumed Cudicini will challenge Galaxy incumbent Josh Saunders for the top spot in net in 2013. The Galaxy also selected former Columbus Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer in the Re-Entry Draft earlier this month, but have yet to come to terms with him on a deal for next season.

“We are delighted to be able to add Carlo Cudicini to our roster,” Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said in a statement. “Carlo is an experienced and accomplished goalkeeper who we believe will be a great addition to our team and our defensive unit.”

A native on Milan, Italy, Cudicini began his professional career with AC Milan in 1992, winning a Serie A title with the club that season, also spending time with Lazio (1996-97) and lower division sides Como (1993-94), Prato (1995-96) and finally Castel di Sangro, with who he spent two seasons, appearing in 46 league games during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.

He joined Chelsea on loan the following season, making his debut in a UEFA Champions League third qualifying-round game in Latvia against Skonto Riga in August 1999.

That would be the first of 216 all-time appearances that the Italian goalkeeper would make for Chelsea, who he signed with permanently following his initial season with the club. Midway through the 2000-01 campaign, Cudicini became Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper, a position that he held   through the end of the 2003-04 season.

Chelsea’s Player of the Year in 2002, Cudicini helped lead Chelsea to a berth in the 2002 FA Cup final. During his nearly 10 years at Stamford Bridge, Cudicini won a pair of Premier League titles, two FA Cups and two League Cups.

After playing 19 games in all competitions during the 2007-08 season, Cudicini’s first-team opportunities were once again limited the following season, making just four appearances through the first half of the season. In January 2009, Cudicini ended his time with Chelsea by signing with Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer.

Cudicini made his Tottenham debut on Jan. 27, 2009, when he helped his new side earn a 3-1 home win over Stoke City. That was the first of four straight games that he would play, helping Spurs collect seven points before serving as the club’s primary backup goalkeeper for the rest of the season.

The 2009-10 season saw the Italian goalkeeper limited to just eight appearances in all competitions as he missed much of the season after being injured in a motorcycle accident. However, he would return to action the following season and helped Tottenham reach the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time ever while also appearing in eight league games for the club, as Tottenham finished fifth.

Last year, Cudicini started five of Tottenham’s eight games in the Europa League as well as six games in the FA Cup as Tottenham reached the semifinals before falling to his former club, Chelsea.