Emiliano Insua latest signing in growing Liverpool-to-LA Galaxy trend

New LA Galaxy signing Emiliano Insua has made stops at several clubs known worldwide, including Galatasary, Sporting CP, Atletico Madrid and VfB Stuttgart, during an impressive career that has also seen him make five appearances for the Argentine national team. But the club on his resume that likely resonates most with many fans is that of current European champions Liverpool, with whom he began his career in Europe after moving from Boca Juniors in 2007.

And with his arrival in MLS, he follows a perhaps surprising but definite trend as the fourth Anfield export to eventually making his way to Dignity Health Sports Park.

Abel Xavier

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Abel Xavier, top, was the first player with experience at Liverpool to join the LA Galaxy back in the 2007 season. | USA Today Sports Images

The Portuguese international fullback came to Southern California before it was cool. And as with nearly everything else the flamboyant Mozambique-born player did, he inevitably made it more so.

Xavier played just over one calendar year for the Galaxy, making only 20 league appearances across two league seasons, his last a 2-1 home loss to the New England Revolution on July 4, 2008. It was hardly a memorable year for the Galaxy, who finished the season tied with San Jose at the bottom of the Western Conference and Supporters' Shield table. But better moments with Liverpool exports were ahead.

Robbie Keane

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Robbie Keane, right, celebrates a goal with Giovani dos Santos | USA Today Sports Images

Although David Beckham may have been the most famous European star to don an LA Galaxy jersey before Zlatan, it's hard to argue any were more successful on the field than Robbie Keane.

The Irishman arrived in the middle of the 2011 campaign and immediately became an essential part of an attack that also featured Beckham and Landon Donovan, and would eventually set up Donovan's winner in the 2011 MLS Cup 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo.

Three years later at age 34, Keane would become the first European international to win the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award, scoring 19 goals and adding 14 assists during the league campaign. He followed that with one of the most dramatic goals in MLS Cup history, a 111th-minute extratime winner to see the Galaxy defeat the New England Revolution 2-1 and earn their fifth title.

Steven Gerrard

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Steven Gerrard was the last former Liverpool player to sign for the Galaxy prior to Insua | USA Today Sports Images

Before Insua, Gerrard was the most recent Galaxy arrival with Anfield roots, joining MLS during the middle of the 2015 campaign and remaining through 2016, contributing 11 assists during his only full MLS season.

Perhaps victimized by the unfair expectations set by Beckham and Keane, Gerrard's impact was somewhat underwhelming by comparison. His last action came as a substitute during a Western Conference semifinal series against the Colorado Rapids, which the Galaxy lost on penalties following a 1-1 draw on aggregate.