UPDATED STORY (3.4.21) — The LA Galaxy officially announced the signing of center-back Derrick Williams on Thursday. This completes the story we reported on earlier this week that had Williams in Los Angeles already going through quarantine procedures and his physical. Both of which he has completed, according to the club.
His contract will run for two years with an additional one-year option, held by the Galaxy. Williams will not take up an international roster spot due to his American citizenship and will be added to the roster pending his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) once the transfer window officially opens for MLS.
Additionally the Galaxy had to acquire the Discovery rights to Williams in a trade with DC United. The Galaxy will pay United $125,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) with $75,000 being paid in 2021 and the balance of $50,000 paid in 2022.
“Derrick is an experienced defender who has played at a high level in England and internationally,” said General Manager Dennis te Kloese. “We believe Derrick will strengthen our defense and add competition to the position. We are excited to have Derrick join the squad and look forward to his contributions to the club.”
Williams will not be a Targeted Allocation Money player for the Galaxy. And his inclusion as a domestic player is a huge bonus for a team that is looking remarkably frugal on international slots. The Galaxy currently occupy only half of their eight international slots (and Traore is expected to go on loan opening another slot).
But Williams is coming off of surgery on his quad and his fitness for preseason is still somewhat of a question mark. But with his physical out of the way, it wouldn’t be shocking to already see him on the field for the Galaxy along with his other preseason teammates.
With Williams on the squad, and the addition of goalkeeper Jonathan Bond — another dual national — the Galaxy have been laser-focused on bringing in international talent without the hit to international slots. A marked departure from their 2019 and 2020 squads.
CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy are on the verge of signing 28-year-old Derrick Williams from the English Championship side, Blackburn Rovers, CoG has learned.
The German-born left-footed center back, who plays internationally for Ireland and has US Citizenship, is expected to be announced by the Galaxy in the coming days.
But Williams will likely arrive in Los Angeles as he recovers from surgery to his quad. He was injured late last year after being rushed back from injury as he tried to help his team during its injury crisis.
Ireland have ruled him out for their World Cup Qualifiers in March, but his recovery timeline is currently unknown. Williams is already in the United States.
It’s unknown if a transfer fee will need to be paid to Blackburn or if they’ve released him prematurely from his contract, which was reportedly up in June of 2021. Williams stirred some interest from DC United last year about this time.
Williams was born in Germany to an American father and an Irish mother while his father served in the United States Army. He played for the Aston Villa Academy after being offered a contract by Manchester United. He marks one appearance with Aston Villa, 111 with Bristol City, and 138 appearances with Rovers. And to date, he has three caps for the Republic of Ireland — the last of which came in a friendly against New Zeland in 2019. He will not take up an international slot on the roster.
Williams is expected to challenge for a starting spot where Pipo Gonzalez and Dan Steres currently roam. But at 33-years of age, Gonzalez might be the odd man out here if Williams can recover fully from his injury.