LA Galaxy boss Bruce Arena confirms playing time plans for Steven Gerrard's debut

Gerrard Vs Chelsea

The 35-year-old Liverpool legend is set to play 45 minutes in Saturday night's International Champions Cup match against Club America at the StubHub Center.

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has confirmed that Steven Gerrard is set to make his highly-anticipated debut for the MLS club on Saturday night when they face Mexican giants Club America in their International Champions Cup clash at the StubHub Center.

The 35-year-old midfielder has been training with the Galaxy for the past week and, with the MLS summer transfer window opening on Wednesday, can now play for his new team for the first time since completing his move from Liverpool.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Arena revealed that he wants to get the former England captain into game situations as soon as possible and is planning to give him a 45-minute run-out for the match in front of his home crowd.

“We’re getting Steven Gerrard on the field for a first time,” said Arena. “That’s good because the games mean a little bit more next week, certainly, with his home opener in the league next week against San Jose.

“We can practice all that we want, he needs to get into game situations with his teammates, and this will give him the opportunity, and give us the opportunity.

“We’re playing him 45 minutes. We’re playing two teams with 45 minutes each.”

Elsewhere, LA skipper Robbie Keane has stressed his confidence that Gerrard will have few problems settling into life in MLS, having thrived himself since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in August 2011.

The league’s reigning MVP has recorded 59 goals and 39 assists in 95 regular-season games, while also helping the club win three of the past four MLS Cup titles, and believes his former Liverpool teammate can make a similar impact.

“He’s a fantastic player and a great lad off the field as well,” Keane told lagalaxy.com. “He’s been off for a few weeks but it certainly doesn’t look like that.

“He’s thrown himself right in and I think everyone’s just excited now to get him playing. He’s good in the dressing room and certainly, for the young players, his experience will be vital.

“Particularly for the midfield players, just watching him train and what he does [will be beneficial]. He trains like he plays games. He’s competitive and wants to win all the time.

“It’s not like it’s a bad place to live here,” added Keane. “It’s quite easy. His kids will certainly enjoy it. Myself and my family have enjoyed every minute of it and I’m sure he’ll be the same.”

Gerrard may not be the Galaxy’s only big-name arrival this summer either, with Villarreal playmaker Giovani dos Santos reported to have agreed a lucrative deal to join the MLS Cup holders following the CONCACAF Gold Cup [h/t Deportes Terra].

The club currently have all three Designated Player slots filled by Keane, Omar Gonzalez and Gerrard, respectively, but the recent introduction of “targeted allocation money” allows teams to pay a fourth player above the league’s maximum salary restriction of $436,250 [£277,637.24].

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch