Babayaro Joins Beckham at Galaxy
Jan. 21, 2008
Nigerian stopper Celestine Babayaro is on the verge of penning a three-year deal with Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.
Babayaro, 29, has been without a club since leaving Newcastle United by mutual consent in early December of last year, having spent almost three years at St. James' Park without an extended run in the team due to injury.
But now, the former Chelsea full back Celestine Babayaro is reportedly on his way to link up with former boss Ruud Gullit at LA Galaxy.
According to reports on Timesonline.com, the player has agreed to the deal and should be joining other former Premiership stars such as David Beckam and Abel Xavier, who have also switched allegiance to the MLS recently.
After his Newcastle release, many analysts predicted that Babayaro's career was over, but this move puts paid to that idea. The 29 year old player was also reported to have had offers from Turkish club sides but settled for the American club after due consideration of his future plans.
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The Galaxy opened their stadium, the Home Depot Center on June 7. But in order for their home to be ready, the team had to play a record 8 games to start the season and failed to win a game. In fact, the Galaxy finish the season without a win away from home the whole season. After the season's final game, the Galaxy had the final playoff spot in the West. In their aggregate series with the Earthquakes, they seemed well on to vindication for the MLS Cup loss 2 years earlier as they held 4 goals to 0 lead midway through the 2 nd game. A thing happened as the Earthquakes scored four unanswered goals to force a tiebreaker. In that session, the Earthquakes' Rodrigo Farina score to send the Quakes onto the next round.
In 2004 Looking to return to the top, the Galaxy would go through a mediocre 1 st half of the season before 3 straight wins over the summer. But from July 14 on, the Galaxy won only 2 more games, one in September and one in October. The Galaxy had a record of 11-9-10, good enough for 2nd in the West and the playoff, remaining the only club in MLS to have a playoff spot in every year of league in the playoffs, the Galaxy withstood an early challenge from the Rapids to win the aggregate goal series, 2-1, scoring 2 times in Game 2. In the conference final, the Galaxy's season would come to an end in Kansas with a 2-0 loss to Arnaud and the Wizards.