The LA Galaxy announced their final signing of the now-closed summer transfer window on Friday morning. That’s when they brought in the 24-year-old defender and midfielder Niko Hämäläinen on loan from English Championship side Queens Park Rangers for the remainder of the 2021 season.
He is capable of playing on both sides of the field for defensive purposes and can also cover at the winger positions as well. He’d most likely be additional cover for Greg Vanney at the left-back position where Jorge Villafana has played a lot of minutes to date. And with Danilo Acosta coming back off of a serious knee injury, it only makes sense to have depth across the backline.
The Galaxy and General Manager Dennis te Kloese worked late into the night on Thursday to complete the deal before the MLS Secondary Transfer window drew to a close. Earlier in the afternoon, there was some doubt that the deal would be completed by the 12 AM Central Time deadline.
Hämäläinen has 29 appearances across all competitions for QPR (2017-2021) but has been on loan to a few other teams during his contract. He was loaned to Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock FC (28 apps, 27 starts) in the 2019-2020 season and was on loan to MLS side LAFC in 2019 where he made 3 appearances.
He would be the first player to have played for both LAFC and the LA Galaxy.
Internationally, Hämäläinen has made seven appearances, with four starts, for the Finland Men’s National Team. He first made his senior team debut against Estonia on Jan 11, 2019.
In order to complete the deal, the Galaxy first needed to acquire the no. 1 spot in the MLS Waiver Order from Chicago Fire FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money.
Hämäläinen has an American Passport and will not be required to use an International Slot or acquire a P-1 Visa. He’ll be added to the Galaxy’s roster as soon as his International Transfer Certificate is received.