The LA Galaxy have announced the signing of defender Rolf Feltscher.
Feltscher, a 27-year old Venezuelan International, with 19 caps to his name, will arrive on a free transfer from Cardiff City from the second tier of English Football, where he had yet to appear during the season.
Reports, at one point, had the defender’s contract expiring in January regardless and Cardiff was unwilling to sign the player for any length of time. His move to the Galaxy was anticipated for the last week.
He’s previously played at clubs in England, Germany, Italy, and Spain and has made appearances for various levels of the Swiss Youth National Team before making his one-time switch to Venezuela.
Feltscher is capable of playing any position along the back line, but is most likely expected to fill in the hole at right back. That position was vacated first, by the career-ending injury Robbie Rogers early in 2017, and then by the injured Pele van Anholt later in the year.
Right back seems to be Feltscher’s strongest position, even while most of his highlight videos show him playing at left back — perhaps also a position of need for the Galaxy who have yet to re-sign left-back Ashley Cole.
With the addition of Feltscher, Michael Ciani from last season, and Jorgen Skjelvik, the Galaxy now have three of the four positions covered on the back line with both Dave Romney, Daniel Steres and Hugo Arellano most likely playing depth roles for the team in 2018.
Although, there seems to be considerable concern that Ciani won’t be a starting CB for the Galaxy. In that case, Steres or Romney easily take that spot. But the Galaxy take a large TAM and salary cap hit if Ciani isn’t as advertised — perhaps the last remnant of former General Manager Pete Vagenas’ regime.
The Galaxy now have 15 players on the roster, with an expected total of between 28 and 30.
Salary figures were not released by the club for Feltscher, although the player is expected to be below the Maximum player budget of $504,375 — meaning no Targeted Allocation Money was used in the signing.
Feltscher will take up an international slot and will join the club once his ITC (International Transfer Certificate) and P-1 visa have been issued.
Also of note, with the Feltscher signing, the Galaxy now have just a single International Slot remaining — with Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, João Pedro, and the aforementioned Ciani and Skjelvik taking up the other six slots.
And while the Galaxy could use that final slot on Cole, or trade for another, it might behoove the club to use that last spot on a striker.
The club will kick off their 2018 season when players report to StubHub Center on January 22 and have recently announced their home opener on Sunday, March 4th against the Portland Timbers.