Los Angeles Galaxy sign Mexican star Giovani dos Santos

July 15, 2015

The Los Angeles Galaxy have once again made a splash when it comes to signing international talent, as the team announced that it has come to an agreement with Mexican international star Giovani dos Santos. Dos Santos is scheduled to join the Galaxy in August following the CONCACAF Gold Cup, pending receipt of his P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate.

Other outlets have reported that the deal is for four and a half years and involved a $7 million transfer fee.

In order to accommodate Dos Santos as a Designated Player on the Galaxy roster, Targeted Allocation Money was used to lower the budget charge of Omar Gonzalez, freeing a Designated Player slot. 

Dos Santos is expected to galvanize an already potent Galaxy attack, and is the second high-profile international player to join the team this season following Steven Gerrard's debut earlier this month.

“Giovani is a special player,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce 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.”

More importantly, the 5-10, 157-pound dos Santos is in the prime of his career at just 26-years-old, unlike past Galaxy international designated player signees Robbie Keane, Gerrard, and David Beckham. The fact that he plays for Mexico's national team is an added bonus considering Southern California's large Mexican-American population.

The LA Galaxy signed dos Santos from Villarreal CF in La Liga BBVA, Spain’s top-flight professional division, where he spent the previous two seasons. Dos Santos has also played for FC Barcelona in La Liga and Tottenham Hotspur FC in England’s Barclays Premier League.

Internationally, Dos Santos is one of Mexico’s most accomplished players, earning his first cap in 2006. Additionally, he has experience playing in UEFA Champions League, the FIFA World Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup, and the Olympics, among other competitions.

“We are committed to assembling the best roster that will compete for championships year in and year out,” said LA Galaxy President Chris 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.”

At the age of 11, Dos Santos joined Barcelona’s Academy at the famed La Masia, where he had an immediate impact and helped lead his club to numerous youth titles in Barcelona’s Juvenil A. He made his first professional appearance for FC Barcelona in 2006, scoring in his debut against AGF Aarhus in a friendly competition.

Just a year later, he made his competitive debut against Athletic Bilbao at the age of 18. During the 2007-08 season, Dos Santos made 26 appearances for FC Barcelona between La Liga and UEFA Champions League matches, scoring four goals and notching five assists.

“Our goal is to be the best club in North America and continuing to invest in top players is part of that objective,” said AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman. “Giovani fits the category of someone who will help the Galaxy continue to be the most successful club in Major League Soccer. We are excited to add a world-class talent to an already championship caliber team.”

Following 2008, Dos Santos transferred to Tottenham Hotspur FC. From 2008-12, he remained with Tottenham while spending time with Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander on loan. He returned to Spain in 2012, signing with Mallorca where he went on to mark 26 appearances while scoring 6 goals during the 20012-13 season.

Dos Santos then had his best professional stint the following year with Villarreal, where he led his club to a sixth-place finish after promotion to La Liga, notching 12 goals and eight assists in all competitions with the club. In his two years with Villarreal, he recorded 17 goals and 14 assists.

The Monterrey product began his international career began with the Mexico U-17 side when he helped win the 2005 U-17 World Championship and earned the tournament’s Silver Ball award. In 2012, the attacker helped Mexico make history by scoring three goals en route to winning the 2012 London Olympics Gold Medal, the first time Mexico has received gold in Olympic soccer

In 2007, Dos Santos earned his first cap with the senior Mexican national team, making an appearance against Panama and his current Galaxy teammate, Jaime Penedo. His first goal for Mexico came in 2009, when he recorded a brace in a match against Venezuela.

Since then, he has made over 80 appearances for his country in competitions including two FIFA World Cups, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and CONCACAF Gold Cups. He helped lead Mexico to the 2011 Gold Cup championship, scoring a brilliant goal against the USMNT to seal a victory in the final.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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