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Ashley Cole released by LA Galaxy

D.C. United v Los Angeles Galaxy

CARSON, CA - MARCH 06: Ashley Cole #3 of Los Angeles Galaxy shouts at an official after taking a hand to the face from a D.C. United player during the first half of their MLS match at StubHub Center on March 6, 2016 in Carson, California. There was no foul called on the play against D.C. United. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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With his contract up with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Ashley Cole is now a free man.

The Galaxy declined their option to keep Cole, 37, as the former Arsenal, Chelsea and AS Roma left back will now decide whether to continue his career in MLS, move elsewhere or call it quits.

As per leg rules, LA announced on Monday which players it has exercized its option on and which had their options declined. Michael Ciani, Brian Sylvestre, Ariel Lassiter, Sheanon Williams, Rolf Feltscher, Baggio Husidic and Servando Carrasco have also had their option declined.

The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Giovani dos Santos and Jonathan dos Santos, Ole Kamara, Romain Alessandrini, Sebastian Lletget, Bradford Jamieson IV and Perry Kitchen are all part of LA’s roster for 2019.

Cole has become an influential figure for LA in recent years, wearing the captains armband for the 2018 season. However, it wasn’t a successful one as the five-time MLS Cup champs blew a 2-0 lead on the final day of the season to lose 3-2 and miss out on making the postseason. With no current head coach after the departure of Sigi Schmid in the final months of the season, it appears the Galaxy are clearing house.

With plenty of talented attacking players such as Zlatan, Gio dos Santos and Alessandrini around, sorting out their defense (the fourth worst in 2018 in the West with 64 goals conceded) should be the main offseason project for a franchise which has now failed to make the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.

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