Steven Gerrard made his MLS debut for the LA Galaxy on Friday as they beat the San Jose Earthquakes in the California derby. Gerrard scored a goal and added an assist. The Galaxy brass will hope the Giovani dos Santos will have the same success, as he’s the latest big name signing by the club.
Dos Santos was a highly touted prospect as he came through FC Barcelona’s youth academy. The Mexican international came to Barcelona at a very young age, and made his debut in the first team in 2007 at age 18. But in a star-studded Barcelona, dos Santos wasn’t able to establish himself in the starting 11, but impressed enough for Tottenham Hotspur to come in with a bid that would take him to England.
But the time in London was not very successful for dos Santos and he saw himself going out on loan to Ipswich, Galatasaray, and Racing Santander. He only played 15 league games for Tottenham and a total of 31 games during his four years at the club.
He then moved onto to Mallorca in the Spanish La Liga for the 2012-2013 season. He scored six goals and added seven assists in 29 league games for Mallorca. The team got relegated, but dos Santos had a good season personally and was bought by Villarreal to stay in La Liga. He had a great first season with Villarreal, as the newly promoted club finished sixth in the league. Dos Santos scored 11 goals and added eight assists.
Last season wasn’t as successful for dos Santos, but the team finished sixth in the league once again. He featured in 27 league games, but only scored a single goal and three assists.
He’s now looking to bounce back with the LA Galaxy and find some stability in his career after bouncing around from team to team. Galaxy revealed the singing of dos Santos as a Designated Player on July 15, and head coach and general manager Bruce Arena spoke to Galaxy’s website about the latest addition to the team.
“Giovani is a special player,” said Arena. “He has experience and success competing at the highest level and we believe he will only continue to develop. We are happy to add him to our roster and have confidence he can be an integral part of our success going forward.”
Despite his relatively young age, dos Santos has a lot of experience, and 90 caps and 17 goals for the Mexican national team at age 26 is quite remarkable. He was part of the Mexican side that won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He’s also represented Mexico at two World Cups and he was also part of two Gold Cup winning sides (2009 and 2011). Galaxy president Chris Klein also spoke about the new signing.
“We are committed to assembling the best roster that will compete for championships year in and year out,” said Klein. “Giovani is yet another testament to that effort by Mr. Anschutz and our ownership group, who have continued to provide every resource for us to win. We’re proud to add Giovani to a list of great players who have represented the Galaxy.”
LA Galaxy now have a really impressive squad with players like Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, dos Santos, Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez.
The arrival of dos Santos is also a perfect opportunity for the team to gain more support in the Mexican-American community, as dos Santos is a popular figure. With the folding of Chivas USA, the field is now wide open for the Galaxy to corner the soccer market in Southern California.
Passionate supporters of the Mexican national team will surely pay extra attention to the LA Galaxy now that dos Santos is on the roster.