At long last, the LA Galaxy got their man.
Giancarlo Gonzalez had long been rumored a target for the club and pen was put to paper to finalize the deal last week. Now, the 31-year-old center back with Serie A experience is officially available to make his debut for his new club on Friday against unbeaten Houston Dynamo (11 pm ET | UniMas/Twitter, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada).
"Just like forwards live for goals," Gonzalez told LAGalaxy.com, "I live for shutouts."
The words will land well on ears of Galaxy supporters, who saw their club miss the playoffs in 2018 in large part due to a leaky defense. They've been improved to start 2019 under new head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, conceding six goals while taking 15 points over their first six games.
Gonzalez is set to make his first appearance in MLS since 2014, when he starred for half a season with Columbus Crew SC. A lot has changed for the 31-year-old since, including half a decade in Italy's top flight, which has been invaluable for his development.
"I feel like years have passed and, like people say, you can't buy experience. I now have years of experience in soccer. We all know that the Italian league is a tactical one and there's an emphasis working with the defenders. I think I have improved a lot as a player in the tactical and defensive aspects."
In the long-term, Gonzalez and fellow new signing Diego Polenta are likely to be the first choice pairing in defense. If they can solidify that back line, the club will have a chance to make noise in the playoffs with a stacked attack led by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini.
"I decided to come to the Galaxy because it's a club that every year wants to fight to be champions," Gonzalez said. "It's important to me as a player to have that ambition to fight for titles, because it's known in soccer that it's the only thing left written in history — the titles you win."