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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ashley Cole joins LA Galaxy following release by Roma

LA Galaxy has confirmed that former Chelsea and Arsenal defender Ashley Cole has signed for the MLS club.

Sources had told ESPN FC earlier in December that the five-time MLS Cup champions had offered the left-back a non-Designated Player contract, and Cole has now joined the MLS franchise.

The Galaxy confirmed that Cole will occupy an International roster spot pending the receipt of a P-1 Visa and ITC, while terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Ashley is one of the world's most successful defenders and has played at the highest level of competition throughout his career," said LA Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena. "He can provide our defense with valuable experience. We look forward to his contribution to our club this season."

New York City FC -- now managed by Cole's former Arsenal teammate, Patrick Vieira -- had been previously linked with the 34-year-old, but he has elected to follow Steven Gerrard to the Galaxy having cancelled his contract with Roma.

Cole had been frozen out at Roma after refusing to cancel his contract at the beginning of the 2015-16 season.

After leaving Premier League side Chelsea in the summer of 2014, Cole made just 13 league and cup appearances with Roma during the 2014-15 campaign.

Arena said: "Ashley Cole has a great history. We know that doesn't necessarily translate on the field when you come to MLS but my interactions over the last couple of months show me that he's a player that has a strong desire to play here in Los Angeles.

"He's very fit and has a burning desire to get back on the field and prove to people that he can still play. I have a hard time believing that he won't be one of the better left-backs in our league.

"I think that the opportunity that he's going to have in LA is going to be a good one for him, and he's going to be able to contribute greatly to our team."

He added: "I think that he's a good addition to our team, but only time will tell. Whether you think it's a risk or a gamble, these are the risks and gambles that you take. There is a real upside of having Ashley Cole with the LA Galaxy."

Cole rose to prominence at Arsenal, making 228 appearances in all competitions over eight years and winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups before completing an acrimonious move across London to rivals Chelsea in the summer of 2006.

In eight years at Stamford Bridge, Cole made 229 appearances and added two more Premier League titles, four more FA Cups and a Champions League triumph to his lengthy list of achievements before joining Roma as a free agent when Chelsea declined to offer him a new contract in June 2014.

For much of his career Cole was widely regarded as one of the most accomplished left-backs of his generation and represented England on 107 occasions, making him the most capped full-back in the country's history.

ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent Liam Twomey contributed to this report.


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