L.A. Galaxy acquire Guatemalan national team captain Guillermo "El Pando" Ramirez

CARSON, CA - The Los Angeles Galaxy have acquired Guatemalan national team captain, midfielder Guillermo "El Pando" Ramirez on loan from Club Social y Deportivo Municipal of Guatemala, the team announced today. Pending visa approval, Ramirez will fill one of the club's four senior international spots and will join the team as soon as possible. Per club policy, details of the contract were not disclosed.

Ramirez, a midfielder who likes to get forward into the attack, played most recently with CSD Municipal in the Liga Nacional de Fútbol de Guatemala (first division). The rojos, one of the most famous clubs in all of Central American football, also produced current Galaxy standout and 2002 MLS Most Valuable Player, striker Carlos Ruiz.

"We are thrilled to bring such a gifted and experienced international player as Guillermo into our club," said Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton. "He is an exciting player that will be counted on to make an immediate impact and a player we will build around for this season as we look to compete for the MLS Cup championship."

The 26-year-old midfielder comes to Los Angeles with a wealth of experience at the club level. He began his career in the Municipal youth system, meeting Ruiz there. Before long, the youths had become close friends and together they played their way onto the club's top side; winning two championships together, the 2000 Torneo Apertura and Torneo Clausura.

"Guillermo will be a welcome addition to the Galaxy," said Galaxy Head Coach Steve Sampson. "His attacking flair and his nose for the goal will bring a different dimension to our side and make us a better team."

After winning the championships, Ramirez moved to PAS Ioanina in the Hellenic National League (Greece). After a brief spell there and another with Jaguares de Chiapas in Mexico, he re-joined Municipal in 2002.

Following his return to Guatemala, the 6-foot, 175-pound midfielder led the Liga Nacional in scoring and helped Municipal to the 2002 Clausura championship. He carried the club on his back in 2004 as well, all the way to a Central American club championship and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup. In all, he has scored 80 goals in a Municipal uniform in official competition.

Success has come for "El Pando" with the national team as well. Ramirez has contested 58 international matches for the chapines and scored 10 goals. His first major accomplishment with the national side was a second place finish in the 2003 UNCAF Copa de Naciones (Central American championship for national teams). Additionally, he has skippered the club to a berth in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, which begins next week.

Los Angeles Galaxy 10th Season Celebration Packs are now on sale. For as little as just $37, fans can purchase tickets to the Galaxy's home opener against Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center and their first home game against CD Chivas USA. For more information, call the Galaxy Ticket Office toll free at 1-877-3GALAXY.

The following is a brief bio of "El Pando":

Full Name: Guillermo Ramirez Ortega
Nickname: "El Pando" (Bowlegged)
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6-0
Weight: 175
Date of Birth: March 26, 1978
Birthplace: Livingston, Guatemala
Citizenship: Guatemala
International Appearances: 58
International Goals: 10
Last Club: CSD Municipal (Guatemala)
Former Clubs: PAS Ioanina - Greece (2001); Jaguares de Chiapas - Mexico (2001), CSD Municipal - Guatemala (1995-2000, 2002-Present).

TRANSACTION: Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) acquire midfielder Guillermo Ramirez on loan from CSD Municipal.