6.14.2007

Abel Xavier Has Arrived

The Los Angeles Galaxy have formally introduced Abel Xavier, the Portuguese international who the team is banking on to solve the problems they have faced defensively so far this season.

Xavier, 34, joins the Galaxy on a free transfer after his contract with English club Middlesbrough expired. He is expected to begin training with the team as early as today and could be ready to see action as soon as this weekend - if his paperwork gets pushed through quickly. In addition to seeing action in the Premier League, Xavier has also played top-tier football in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.

Internationally, Xavier has made 20 appearances for Portugal, with two goals to his credit. He made an appearance in Portugal's last game of the group stage in the 2002 World Cup.

Perhaps known more for his appearance than his footballing prowess - see picture above - Xavier received a year-long suspension in 2005 after testing positive for Methandrostenolone, an anabolic steroid. He appealed the decision and has maintained his innocense on the matter.

Xavier's salary for 2007 is listed at $156,000, according to the MLS Players Union. Like David Beckham, Xavier insists it wasn't about the money: "I'm pleased because, personally, it's a big challenge. This was the most attractive decision of my career."

With the addition of Xavier and the emergence of Ty Harden in central defense, the team considered Galaxy mainstay Tyrone Marshall expendable, leading to a swap with Toronto FC for Edson Buddle. Xavier will likely play alongside Harden in the middle of defense, a sore spot for the Galaxy all year long.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does he look like the brother from the movie Buckaroo Banzai when they are going through the time warp?

Justin Durst Jr said...

I wonder if a petition could have gotten the poor (literally) performer, Ty Harden, $6,000 if Xavier only signed for $150,000?!?