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Wilhelmsson bolsters loaded Galaxy midfield
by Paul Kennedy, September 5th, 2012 11:14PM
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TAGS:  los angeles galaxy, mls


[MLS TRANSACTIONS] The rich get richer as the MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy landed Christian Wilhelmsson, giving it a winger it has not had under Bruce Arena, certainly not since Cobi Jones in his heyday. The 32-year-old Swede has been playing in the Middle East the last three seasons but he was still good enough to play for Sweden at Euro 2012, his third European Championship. The Galaxy will the 10th club in 10 different countries for the well-traveled Wilhelmsson.

Wilhelmsson joins a Galaxy team that has climbed out of the basement and into fourth place in the Western Conference and looking very much like a formidable playoff contender.

Since losing, 2-1, in stoppage time at home to the Philadelphia Union on July 4, the Galaxy has gone 7-1-2 in MLS action.

Wilhelmsson should be slotted into the starting job on the right wing, where the Galaxy has been started Hector Jimenez, a second-year player out of the University of California, since Landon Donovan was moved to the frontline earlier this season.

With Donovan injured, Mike Magee has been playing up front and Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas has been playing on the left wing.

Along with David Beckham and Juninho in the middle, where they have already hit career highs with seven and five goals, Wilhelmsson and Sarvas will give the Galaxy one of the best midfield in MLS.

Wilhelmsson, who has 78 caps, has been training with the Galaxy and played in a Reserve League game on Tuesday. Because he was a free agent, having most recently played for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, he was eligible to be signed outside the North American transfer window.

He played for seven countries in Europe -- Mjallby (Sweden), Stabaek (Norway), Anderlecht (Belgium), Nantes (France), Roma (Italy), Bolton Wanderers (England) and Deportivo Coruna (Spain) -- before moving in 2008 to Al-Hilal for which he won league and cup titles in each of his first two seasons.

Wilhelmsson split time last season with Al-Ahli in Qatar and Al-Hilal before finishing up in the Middle East in the spring.

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