American Exports: Former LA Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens signs with Bob Bradley's Stabaek
AMSTERDAM – Former LA Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens has become the first American signing of new Stabæk boss Bob Bradley, inking a two-year deal on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old Illinois native joins as a free agent, becoming the fifth American to sign for the Blue Ones after Ricardo Clark, Sean Cunningham, Mikkel Diskerud and Chris Henderson.
"We have signed Michael to a two-year contract," Stabæk sport director Inge André Olsen told MLSsoccer.com. "We are very happy to be bringing him into the team."
Stephens has appeared in three preseason games for the promoted club, bagging a pair of goals and some positive reviews for his play in the middle of the park.
Stabæk have four friendlies left on their preseason schedule, the last being a March 23 visit to face Diskerud and traditional Norwegian power Rosenborg. One week later, they will open the new Tippeligaen season by hosting Sogndal.
The signing also filled the last of Stabæk's nine foreign player slots, effectively ending their flirtation with countryman Matt Pickens. The former Colorado Rapids backstop had been training with the club, but recently returned to America.
"That's correct, he will not be a Stabæk player," confirmed Olsen.