CARSON, Calif. (AP) — The LA Galaxy have acquired forward Dejan Joveljić from Eintracht Frankfurt of the German Bundesliga.
The five-time MLS champion Galaxy announced a 4 1/2-year deal Thursday for the 21-year-old Joveljić, who will hold an MLS U22 Initiative roster spot.
Joveljić spent last season on loan with Wolfsberger AC in Austria’s Bundesliga. He scored 20 goals, including two in the Europa League group stage.
After starting his career in Serbia with Red Star Belgrade, the native of Bosnia and Herzegovina made 10 appearances for Frankfurt during the 2019-20 season before going briefly on loan to Anderlecht in Belgium. Joveljić represents Serbia internationally, making two appearances for the national team.
Galaxy general manager Dennis Te Kloese said Joveljić “is an exciting, goal-scoring forward who is amongst the brightest talents in Europe.”
The MLS U22 Iinitiative allows the league’s clubs to sign young players to more lucrative contracts at a lower budget commitment as a motivation to build their rosters with emerging talent instead of established pros from other leagues.
The Galaxy have practiced the latter philosophy extensively over the years, signing the likes of David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Giovani Dos Santos, Zlatan Ibrahimović and current All-Star forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernández.
But Te Kloese has aggressively sought out younger talent in Europe over the past year to supplement his roster around Chicharito, who is second in the league with 10 goals. The Galaxy acquired Rayan Raveloson, Kévin Cabral, Séga Coulibaly and Samuel Grandsir from French clubs and added German-born Irish international Derrick Williams from England.
The Galaxy are third in the Western Conference and fourth in the overall MLS standings at 10-6-1 under new coach Greg Vanney after missing the playoffs in two of the previous three seasons.
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