LA Galaxy presented their latest acquisition on 16 February, in the shape of former Dutch international Nigel de Jong. The 31-year old midfielder negotiated a release from the final two years of his contract with AC Milan to come to the MLS club in Los Angeles, which now features Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos among its roster.

"I want to thank the team, the coach, everybody who made it possible for me to come over to LA. Thank you very much for this warm welcome," De Jong told the media. "Also, to my teammates for letting me feel part of the team, already. I'm looking forward to this season and let's see what we can do this year and go as far as possible as a team."

Despite having played for several top clubs in Europe, De Jong is best known in the US for his poor challenge against Spain's Xabi Alonso during the Dutch's loss in the World Cup Final in 2010 when he stabbed his boot into his opponent's chest.

"I don't really care what people say. It's not about the reputation that does it. It's about the winner's mentality that you have to show on the pitch. Because at the end of the day it's about winning and getting those three points in your pocket and leave the pitch with that. So for me, it's not a problem," de Jong explained when questioned about his reputation for physical play.

According to media reports, Galaxy signed De Jong, former Belgian international Jelle van Damme, 32, and England's Ashley Cole, 35, for under $1.7m (£1.19m) in total.

"I've been a big sports fan since I was little. That made it, for me, even easier [to sign] because I love American sports. I've always follow it," he said. "For us In Europe, it's a little bit difficult to follow always because it's during the night, a lot of the games. But, I would stay up. I would stay up during the nights and watch those games even if it was going to be 2-3 in the night. I'm a big fan, so I'm glad that I'm here now so I don't have to stay up so late, anymore," he joked.

The MLS season begins 6 March with the LA Galaxy hosting DC United for their opening match.