LA Galaxy midfielder Steven Gerrard has revealed he was surprised at the level of football played in Major League Soccer and says he is aiming to win the MLS Cup this season.
The former Liverpool captain moved to the Los Angeles-based side last summer on an 18-month contract after following a 17-year period at Anfield.
Gerrard admits he found his move to America more of a challenge than he first thought, with the standard of play and some conditions proving particularly testing.
“There were some shocks and surprises when you go away on the road,” the 35-year-old told Sky Sports.
“The altitude, the humidity, the length of travel, and obviously getting used to team-mates and new tactics, it’s a different way of playing. I will certainly be better for the highs and lows of last season.
“The level is certainly a lot better than people think. You have an opinion when you watch this game on the eye and it’s very competitive. There are some good players in the league, good managers and good tactics.
“I’ve sampled different training sessions at LA Galaxy that I’ve never done before so maybe one day I can use different bits and bobs that I’ve learnt over here.”
Following a disappointing first campaign with Galaxy, Gerrard is aiming to improve their fortunes when the new MLS season kicks off on Sunday.
“Win the MLS Cup or go close [is the aim],” he told Sky Sports. “Last year we went out of the first round of the play-offs, the wheels fell off towards the end of the league campaign. We conceded too many goals and we got a really tricky away tie against Seattle in the play-offs.
“We need to position ourselves better in the league before it goes to the play-offs then it’s a bit of a lottery. We need to perform and be consistent in knock-out competition.”