Ashley Cole freely acknowledges that he once compared Major League Soccer to relaxing on a beach.

The LA Galaxy's new defender intends to show the world he didn't move to Hollywood to sit in the sand.

The Galaxy formally welcomed the English star and Belgian defender Jelle Van Damme on Friday, adding two major talents to the five-time MLS champions' rebuilt roster.

The 35-year-old Cole says his dismissive description of MLS 20 months ago was taken out of context. He only meant to express his excitement about joining Roma, where he subsequently barely played for the past two seasons.

The former Arsenal and Chelsea star says he is impressed by the rising level of play in MLS. He is eager to suit up alongside friends Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane.