Jelle Van Damme
HOW ACQUIRED: Acquired on January 26, 2016 using Targeted Allocation Money.
An experienced Belgian international, Van Damme made an immediate impact for the Galaxy after joining and was eventually a finalist for both the 2016 Newcomer of the Year and Defender of the Year awards for his outstanding play as a center back. In addition to his imposing physical presence and take-no-prisoners approach to defending, Van Damme is known for his marauding runs forward, reminiscent of his days as a left back in Belgium.
OUTSIDE MLS: Van Damme, 32, joins from Standard Liege in Belgium, where he captained the side and made 205 appearances since joining the team in 2011. In addition to Standard Liege, the defender has had stints with Germinal Beerschot (Belgium), Ajax (Netherlands), Southampton (England), Werder Bremen (Germany), Anderlecht (Belgium) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (England). While with Ajax, Van Damme made 22 appearances and helped lead his team to the 2003-04 Eredivisie league title while also featuring in the UEFA Champions League. Van Damme featured for Wolverhampton Wanderers in England’s Premier League in 2010 before signing with Standard Liege the following year. While with the historic Belgian club, he scored 22 goals and notched an additional 27 assists in his 205 total appearances.
INTERNATIONAL: Van Damme has featured extensively for the Belgium national team, making 30 appearances since his debut in 2003. As an international, he has appeared in multiple UEFA EURO qualifiers and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.