Steven Gerrard has revealed he is considering retiring from football at the end of the 2016 season following the LA Galaxy's play-off elimination.
The Liverpool great, 35, joined the Galaxy in July 2015 on an 18-month Designated Player contract, scoring two goals and providing three assists in 14 league appearances in his first season in MLS.
Galaxy were knocked out of the MLS Cup by the Seattle Sounders following a 3-2 defeat at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday and Gerrard is determined to make amends next year after missing out on another domestic title.
"It could be my last season as a footballer. I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m feeling right now come next year," he said.
"I’d love to go out on a high. It’s a long season and I only came here for the last four months, but I’ll certainly be better for the experience next year."
Reflecting on his first season in United States, Gerrard admitted he was caught out by a number of different league aspects.
"Going on the road, playing on turf, playing at altitude, playing in humidity, those are the hurdles that I’ve had to face over the last three months that I wasn’t aware of. Every away game has a different challenge," said Gerrard.
"At home, we’ve got no problems because we’re very strong and we play well. We’ll always win more than we lose.
"For us to move forward next year and finish in the top two spots - and avoid games like [Seattle] - we’ve got to be better defensively and stop conceding on set-pieces and crosses."
Defensive errors ultimately cost LA, but Gerrard remains confident in his coach.
"I know [Galaxy coach Bruce Arena] quite well now and I’m sure that’s where he’ll be analysing over the winter. [We have] to stop this team from conceding goals, we know that," he said.
"I’ve been in this game long enough to know that if you’re going to be successful that you can’t keep conceding goals. It’s too difficult to win football matches if you concede two or three every game. We know that’s where he’ll be analysing over the winter."
The former England captain – who won 114 caps in an international career spanning 14 years – hopes to challenge for top honours in 2016.
"Knowing this club and looking at it from the outside, I know that we’ll try to improve in certain areas," Gerrard added.
"We’ll improve the squad, and we’ll hopefully have a [team] that’s ready to compete again next year."
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