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Galaxy complete signing of Giovani Dos Santos

GiovaniDosSantosMexico1-CostaRicaGoldCup2015 (USATodaySports)
Photo by Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

After years of rumors, reports, and rejections, the LA Galaxy finally got their man.

The Galaxy confirmed to the Los Angeles Times late Tuesday evening that they’ve signed Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos. While the Galaxy refused to comment on Dos Santos’ contract and transfer figures, the Times reports that he’s signed a four and a half year contract with annual payments of nearly $6 million after completing a $7 million transfer.

It’s unclear whether the Galaxy or MLS paid the transfer fee to Villarreal.

Both the Galaxy and Villarreal have yet to announce the signing on either of their club websites or social media feed’s.

“There’s a lot of things that have to happen for a deal of this magnitude,” Galaxy president Chris Klein told the Times. “We’ve had an interest in Giovani Dos Santos. And I think he’s always had an interest in us. It just took time for everything to come together.”

The Galaxy put the finishing touches on the deal earlier on Tuesday, after acquiring allocation money from New York City FC in exchange for an international roster spot. The move was a win-win for both teams.

NYCFC was able to sign Colombia defender Jefferson Mena, and the Galaxy were able to amass enough allocation money to buy down defender Omar Gonzalez’s contract, which had a base salary of $1 million in 2014, according to MLS Player’s Union numbers.

The Times reports that the Galaxy used $500,000 in allocation money to lower Gonzalez’s cap-hit, likely to put him under the Designated Player threshold, which in 2015 is $436,250.

Dos Santos, 26, joins veteran forward Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard, who made his Galaxy debut against Club America last Saturday in the International Champions Cup.

Dos Santos spent the last two seasons at Villarreal in La Liga, though last season he was unable to live up to his form that led to an 11-goal, 26-start season in La Liga in 2013/2014. He’s played for Mallorca, Tottenham, Racing Santander, Galatasaray, and Ipswich Town since leaving Barcelona in 2008.

Despite his club struggles between 2008 and 2013, Dos Santos has almost always thrived when suiting up for the Mexican National Team. He’s accumulated 88 caps for El Tri since making his debut as a 19-year-old in 2007, scoring 20 goals.

Dos Santos is currently with El Tri at the Gold Cup. He’s expected to sign his contract and report to the Galaxy following the tournament, and could make his Galaxy debut on Aug. 9 against the Seattle Sounders, according to the Times.

What do you think of this news? How does Dos Santos’ addition change the MLS playoff race? Do you see the Galaxy as easy MLS Cup favorites now? How long do you think it will be for Dos Santos to adjust to the league’s style?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I believe signing players in this salary range is a calculated risk. They do the math, figure how many tickets and jerseys will sell, what the television viewership bump will be (Univision), and make it happen. I think if MLS were signing guys like Ronaldo, Messi, Rooney right now, we’d have reason to worry. Garber and these wealthy owners are doing a hell of a job (ok, maybe not Kraft n Kroenke).

  2. I think the analogy is good actually, and sometimes the lane change to the fast lane wilnot work, but then the next one will. MLS is growing, more TV exposure, etc., can’t wait till Ronaldo and Messi come here in a couple years. That’s why Don wants Miami,it may attract more of these guys and the eventual result will be more money, salary, development for the US player…

  3. Great to see another big name player joining the MLS but I sure hope both the league and the teams doing the signings sure have the revenue to support these big money contracts. I hate to see MLS be another soccer league in the US going broke because they grew too fast or didn’t generate the revenue necessary to support these big players. Again, I hope to be wrong…

    • You want to drive with the big dogs in the fast lane, you have to pickup your speed in order to make the lane change. Garber has had his turn signal on with aims to be a top league in 10 years, they’ve carefully, diligently built he engine, have the horsepower with sponsorships and TV deals and infrastructure. At some point you have to take a deep breath, stomp on the gas and make your move.

      Cheesy analogy. Way too much coffee today.

    • Brother you got that right. Six Million? Is he really worth six times Omar or AT LEAST twelve times Juninho, Lleget, AJ et. al?

      On the bright side it’s not my money and I’ve been a Galaxy fan since the Andrew Shue era so I guess I’m OK with it.

      • The US has by far the largest WC viewing audience in the world. Huge numbers for soccer. Few of these potential viewers/lovers of the game are interested in our own league. The MX attracts a TV audience multiple times that of MLS inside the US. Gotta be absolutely enormous inside LA. This. Has. To. Be Addressed.

        The seeds of a lifelong, diehard fan are planted in childhood memories and nostalgia. You get the butts in the seats and the TV tuned to Galaxy games at home for any reason and eventually… habits and memories and allegiances are formed. You’ve now spawned a long future with the children of those ticket holders and cable subscribers associate the team with childhood memories.

        Whether we admit it or not- there is a large part of watching a team that is akin to tethering our ego/associating it with a player or team and then living or dying through the experience of a game or season vicariously through them. The easier it is to identify with them the better. The more successful that team or player or outcome- the more pleasurable the experience and likelihood we will repeat it / put out $$$ to do so. Human nature makes having a player or two on a team “like me” only makes it easier to form these attachments associations with the team. Having a player or two- particularly a main cog/star on the Galaxy that the vast majority of soccer fans can identify with could do wonders in getting them to make that initial leap. Gio will not only be a huge difference make on the field and help build, an exciting, dynamic winning team to watch, but he will help span a cultural divide that MLS is trying to overcome. If he comes and plays hard and thrives with this team- he will be worth much more than 6 million a year.

      • This has already been tried in LA. From the very beginning the LAG has tried to woo the MX crowd. Back in the Andrew Shue era they signed Hermosillo and Campos, in the 2000’s the league went beyond merely signing Mexicans and and added Chivas USA. Some stuff worked and some stuff didn’t. Spending $6M is an awfully big risk to take on a single player that could very well tear his ACL in the hopes that Mexicans will throng to the stadium to see somebody that looks like them.

      • ACL tear is there with any player. In the perspective of that time and era- Hermosillo and Campos weren’t bad signings. Gio is young- in his prime. Box office, jersey sales, worldwide marketing- the deal will pay for itself, then some. The move makes sense precisely BECAUSE it isn’t one dimensional. He is a very good player that fills a need. Very entertaining. Very marketable. In his prime. Galaxy are not all in on just GDS…. he isn’t expected to be THE guy, but one of several talents on a stable, successful team looking to be more so.

  4. As a long-term Galaxy fan (and huge USMNT fan) I have mixed emotions about this signing. I realize that he will put butts in the seats and eyeballs on the TV, but it will annoy me to see the fans he brings in that don’t care about the league or the Galaxy and will be wearing Mexican national team jerseys. Once Dos Santo leaves they will be gone with him.

    • Agree with every word you said. That’s why I’m happy with this news as an MLS fan but hate it as an LAG fan. The publicity will be good (maybe more so internationally than in the US and Mexico), but the fans that come along with GDS will be rough on the rest of us. But I’m gonna trust the LA front office on this one; if they’ve been pursuing him for years, they must know something I don’t know (as much as it pains me).

      • It’s not a secret. The Galaxy front office don’t care how well they’re developing players for the USMNT. They don’t care which country their supporters come from or cheer for. Their job is to win MLS Cups, Supporter’s Shields, and ok maybe a CONCACAF title. That’s it. GDS will put butts in seats, and if those new supporters are waving tricolor flags instead of stars and stripes, they don’t care. As long as their money is green.

        It’s a sad but true fact that as MLS teams develop into international powers, the players will become more international too. Look at the Premier League. Best league in the world, right? But their fans complain all the time about how none of the lads are English. Too bad. You want international quality soccer? This is how it works.

        And yeah, it’s gonna suck to be a Galaxy fan and have a guy sitting next to you, also wearing a a Galaxy shirt, spitting on Landon Donovan fan giveaways, but you won’t complain if you win another Cup.

    • There are a lot of teams in line before Seattle.

      A lot of loyal fan bases out there that deserve big time stars that only a handful of teams (including Seattle) have gotten.

      It’s dispiriting to be a fan of a team in this league and continually watch LA,NY, Seattle and even Toronto spend crazy money (or MLS is spending it or whatever) while everyone else gets nothing

  5. NY and LA have a huge advantage in signing European and other bigger international players because most international players are probably interested in living in NYC or LA but have probably never even heard of Kansas City, Dallas, or Houston.

    All the other teams (with the possible exception of Orlando and Chicago) need to focus there time and money on a) good but not great south/central american players who want a slight raise and the stability and safety of living in the US (like the type FC Dallas typically sign) b) on US internationals that want to be in the states and are probably more open to other US cities and C) developing players through their academies. The salary cap and limits on DP slots can keep teams that follow this approach on relative parity with teams that can lure big time internationals.

    • This. Let’s not heap mounts of praise on LA Galaxy for being “ambitious.” You think there’s not other MLS teams who wanted GDS, both for his on-field talent and for his appeal to the local Mexican population…?

      Like Clover362 says, LA and NY teams have a ridiculously massive advantage when it comes to signing European stars. This cannot be overstated. I agree with Clover’s solutions for the lesser markets, especially developing through local academies and focusing on U.S. prospects who are more open to all American cities….or at least more than just L.A. and NYC.

      Unfortunately though, there’s no real “fix” for this LA/NYC mega advantage except for one thing: time. Eventually, if MLS progresses and gets better and better, all MLS teams will be appealing to players, regardless of city, because of the strength of the league. You see this in the English Premier League. Do you think Hull or Leicester crack European players’ list of Top 5 most desirable English cities? Nope, but transferring there gives them the opportunity to play in the highest-profile league. Suddenly, all EPL clubs look appealing, regardless of town. The same will have to happen with MLS.

  6. Gio is not worth $6 Million dollars a year… He doesnt even start for 100% for Mexico anymore.. more reason to dislike LA.

  7. NYRB appear to be doing just fine without the enormous salaries of Henry and Cahill. LA Galaxy have made a HUGE maneuver here and are once again the favorites in the West. Seattle, it’s your move.

  8. Still young and played three countries already, and still a starter for his national team. Seba and Gio are more proper DPs.

  9. I wonder how he will do? MLS is a funny league. Some stars do well like Keane and Sebastian Giovinco while others, Rafa Marquez do terribly. I guess every league is like that though. We will have to wait and see for the answer. I’ll watch.

    • Players who come here to play and expect to have to adjust to a new league do well. Players who come here to “retire” and think “it’s just MLS, how hard can it be??” flop, hard.

  10. These red bull rants are ridiculous. The notion that red bulls ownership is cheap is nothing more than poor journalism. There is nothing that indicates that this ownership group is not commited or inexperienced at their work. They have had one of the best academies, and stadiums in the league. If you want to blame someone for the lack of trophies or lack of signings blame MLS with their ridiculous rules which favor some teams and not others. Blame the town of Harrison which is taxing the stadium. There is your dp money. Blame Henry who did not play when it mattered most. The red bull ownership has fielded competitive teams year after year and their only sin is being a foreign entity that is not in the loop with mls to have an advantage over other teams. Oh yeah real journalism would have exposed the mls nonsense! Enjoy the season and question mls rules and management that is pocketing money at the expense of players.

    • Agreed. Red Bull Arena remains the best stadium in the league years after it was built, the team always makes the playoffs and fields competitive sides, BWP and Lloyd Sam may not be marquee names, but they are amongst the best players in the league, they have a great, stable keeper, an emerging US star at center back, and the team this year remains pretty good and is drawing well despite its new neighborly competitor (who it has has beaten twice). Could Red Bulls be helped by a “big” DP signing? Of course — assuming its the right one. Then again, there is no team in MLS that wouldn’t be helped by a roster upgrade. The new flashy DP signings are great — don’t get me wrong — but so has the Red Bull organization to this point.

      • Just curious, what is it about Red Bull Arena that makes you think it’s the best stadium in the league? Parking is non-existent, your only other option is to wait 45 minutes to squeeze onto a PATH train to get to and from the stadium. Once inside you wander around the guts of the stadium, with loading crates and i beams everywhere. The seat slope is extreme, and the place has a fierce echo effect. No “open air” feel to it whatsoever. It’s easy to look at the other stadiums in the Northeast and feel superior – only Philly has a soccer specific stadium – but outside the northeast, you just sound like typical myopic New Yorker who assumes that everything you have is somehow better simply by being in New York (or in this case, a slum in New Jersey, but whatever).

        I recommend you take in a game at Providence Park in Portland. Beautiful old facility with all the craft beer and charcuterie you can handle. BBVA in Houston is gorgeous and has a great location – they just can’t seem to get rid of the horrid Texas heat, even if they play at midnight. Or even Toyota Park – parking situation arguably worse even than RBA, but only just barely, but the facility is nice, and at least it doesn’t feel like you’re inside a steel shipping container the way you do at RBA.

        But for my money (and as a soccer fan who travels for work all the time, I try to spend this money wisely, and often) the best stadium right now is the Stub Hub Center. Beautiful arching canopies, open air feel, largest grass pitch in the league, a grass berm to go with it at one end, and always – ALWAYS – no less that 20,000 supporters in the seats. Just one more reason to hate the Galaxy, right?

      • This has nothing whatever to do with NY. Red Bull Arena is a fully enclosed 25k seat stadium, with great sight lines, seats close to the field, and a full roof that keeps the noise in and the field uncovered. The seat slope in the upper deck means you are closer to the field and aren’t staring at the backs of heads the whole game (Yankee Stadium is bad for soccer for that reason). Your notion about the parking is just wrong. There is ample parking in front of the stadium, in the wearhouses next to it, in the garage down the street and elsewhere. And there is in fact public transportation via PATH, which is just fine. My only critique about RBA is that the concession concourses could be wider.

        Houston is the only comparable stadium in my view (and I’ve been there and others), but its smaller and doesn’t have a fully enclosed roof. Portland seems like a great atmosphere in too cramped quarters because its not really a soccer stadium even after the renovation. You seem to have a personal preference for open air (little or no roof) stadiums that are not fully enclosed, which is fine I guess. I prefer the caludron feeling rather than feeling like I am watching a game with folks in a different stadium. The fact that you mention Toyota as a good situation does not give me confidence in your preferences though.

  11. As an MLS fan, I’m super stoked about this. As a Galaxy fan, I hate it. I think this is a huge coup for MLS and extends the credibility argument of players (American or foreign) in their prime coming to the league, such as Giovinco, Bradley and possibly Chicharito. But it’s gonna take some time for me to adjust to seeing GDS in a Galaxy kit. I know he’s talented, but I just don’t want him on my team.

    Also, agree with the above comment about taking playing time away from two potential USMNT players. It’ll also be interesting to see how Bruce gets everyone on the field.

    • I completely agree. This guy is great for the profile of the league and he is a young star. Young stars mean the league is gaining momentum. I just dont want this guy on my team. This guy is an unprofessional, overpriced, attitude problem for LA now. He’s a Freddy Adu. Talented, but for some reason every team is willing to get rid of him. I will be shocked if lives up to the hype!

      • The Adu comparison works to an extent, based on how many clubs GDS has played at during his relatively short career. The one difference is that he consistently gets called up for El Tri so he must be doing something right, where as Freddy has been mostly person non-grata (we’ll always have the 2011 GC). .

        Oh and I’d much rather LAG acquire Freddy. I love me a good redemption story. And I think Bruce could do wonders with him. But admittedly, I’m a bit for an Adu whore…

      • FrenchOne, I think GDS will be one of Bruce’s biggest challenges, managing the ego’s. El Tri is using GDS off the bench primarily and his numbers abroad have waned recently also. I don’t know if his attitude and personna just wears out his welcome or if he simply needs creative leadership to spur him on.

        I like that Galaxy has added more dangerous options all the while giving Arena a chance to give partial rest periods to some of the players thanks to the added depth.

        With all the El Tri fans in Los Angeles, this was a tremendously brilliant move by Galaxy to acquire this player!

  12. Wow. Exciting stuff.

    It will be really interesting to see if Bruce can pull this collection of players into a well functioning team this year.

  13. Red bull is officially on the clock and watch. Garber will not let red bull have it easy, if they stay cheap in ny and average less than nyc.
    I know slowleftarm will respond, but we all know red bull has been helped this season due to nyc arrival.
    Red bull fans have no reason to show up.
    Their team is in the biggest market of the mls, their owner sucks, their team name is terrible and don’t compare it to bayern or vw.
    Red bull fans shouldn’t be happy just because they have beaten a half ass EXPANSION team.
    Red bull fans should not renew season tickets, dont buy merchandise, don’t attend games.
    Red bull fans should be sad, you’re not winning mls cup or supporters shield.
    Garber needs to threaten red bull.
    Once LA2 join mls, their will be 6 dps in LA….amazing. Ny will only have 4 due nycfc and none of red bull.
    If chicharito ends up in Orlando, then that means red bull has no love for their fans.

    • Amen to you brother…I don’t even get excited for Red Bull games anymore. It’s sad because I do love the players. It literally is starting to feel like breaking a long time serious relationship. It’s so sad…

      • Lol, you don’t get excited because there’s no big name players on the team? Get over it, they’re playing well, and the nobodies like McCarty and BWP are still great players for Red Bull.

  14. As a USMNT fan first, I’m disappointed by this signing. No, not because of the 2011 Gold Cup, but because he’s going to be taking away playing time for two potentially important Nat prospects: Lletget and Villareal.

    Plus, the Galaxy have plenty of attendance. Why not send him to Dallas or the Chi?

    • “Why not send him to Dallas or the Chi?”

      Because a player has to want to go there. I can’t imagine Dos Santos leaving La Liga for either of those franchises. And I say this as a long-time Fire fan, but he’d be nuts to play for the Fire, as backward as their management is. Playing in LA means he’s on a proven winner, with a coach who knows how to handle superstars, in a high-profile market. That’s a combination that can’t be achieved playing in Dallas or Chicago.

      • It’s too bad Chicago is stuck with their stadium (and owner) situation, because that market and city could attract an international star like GDS. A SSS in a good location in the city near public transit would do very well if committed ownership was in place.
        Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an easy solution. It’s just a shame.

      • It really is a damn shame. Chicago could be attracting talent like LA/NY/SEA with better ownership and a better stadium. Hell, with the right ownership situation attracting top DPs they could be attracting SEA-like attendance levels.

        But they are stuck in the ‘burbs with owners who don’t seem to care.

    • I’m pretty sure that Lletget will still play a lot. I speculated a while ago that there’s going to be a sizable contract offered for Zardes by a European club and the Galaxy are preparing for that eventuality. Since Zardes is a homegrown player, I think the Galaxy will get most of the money that a Zardes sale will generate. If nothing else, the Galaxy wheel and deal with the best of them. Consider that they sold Sarvas after last season and it looked like a bad move. Now they have Gerrard and Lletget, plus Dos Santos and Villareal returned from loan. They sent Ishizaki back to Sweden and may lose Zardes. Even if they lose Zardes, it looks to me that overall they have upgraded the team.

      • LA has a cap disaster on their hands if they don’t have plans in place to move players in the offseason. I doubt they can move enough salary if they only make MLS-internal moves. It will likely have to include at least one sale of a young talent to another league. OG and Zardes are probably most likely to transfer to other leagues.

      • When does Zardes’ current deal end? I tried to do a search; however, I could not find any info. If I am not mistaken, I thought that I read that his deal expires at the end of next year. If that is true, then you have to think the Galaxy (or MLS) will have to make some type of move at the end of this year. They can’t let him walk away on a free transfer. With MLS throwing around a bunch of money, I would like to think that they will make a big push to keep him, even if it means as a DP at another club. The Galaxy could also play the transaction dollar switch-er-roo with him for a year until Keane retires.

  15. “It’s unclear whether the Galaxy or MLS paid the transfer fee to Villarreal.”

    Don’t hold your breath for an explanation.

    • If MLS paid for the transfer I’m fine with that. The entire league will benefit from this in increase ticket sales in most markets plus jersey sales.

      • Plus, as I pointed out elsewhere, signing big names gives them more international cachet, leading to TV contracts in a lot of different countries all over the world. The latest was with BeIn Sports for broadcast of MLS in Asia and Australia. I’m thinking these kind of contracts are made possible by having big names in the league.

  16. great to see more big names coming into the league, and build up fan interest.

    Now, cooooooooooooooooooome on RED BULLS! we need some big name additions!…………

    • Lol, don’t hold your breath. Ownership has been in cheapout mode for a while and now that Henry’s and Cahill’s contracts are gone, they’re too busy enjoying the savings to worry about the quality of the team.

      • I don’t know, I think NYRB is building the right way now. They are a solid team, make some tweaks in the off-season, then bring in the big guns to fill holes. You can go the OCSC and NYCFC route and bring in DP’s before you’re ready, but it won’t make a difference, the other pieces are just as important, which NYRB realized the hard way. They brought in the DP’s but couldn’t fill the team around them properly.

    • they’ll have a sibling duo up top….Shaun wright phillips and his bro Brad. I’ve been a fan of LA since moving to LA in 99. I wish they played up in SF since SF is a much more internationally minded city. LA, as a city, deserves the Raiders, but anything classy belongs up here (SF). Anyway, so I’ll now be looking for that Galaxy jersey with the green shoulders evocative of the Mexican national team jersey from a couple of years ago. The MexiGal jersey.

  17. The imagine of Giovani Dos Santos disrupting the US defense and floating the ball over Tim Howard with six players in the vicinity will always be in my mind: “U.S. Men Fall 4-2 in 2011 Gold Cup Final”!!
    (also the fact that we don’t have players yet to fill Donovan’s and Dempsey’s shoes)
    If he’s anything like his old self LA Galaxy just got an exciting player

  18. What happens next year with Gonzalez’s contract? They have bought down his contract for 2015. Do they have to do that again next year?’

    • Transfer, time for OG to move up. Or LA trades for $ every year leaving them with 4 really good players and a bunch of rookies.

      • They could trade draft picks for $$$ and just sign young players from their pretty strong academy as a strategy

    • The Galaxy have only bought down his contract in terms of the league’s salary cap. He’s still making the same amount of money for however long his contract is for, but his salary is now reflected lower for the team’s salary cap purposes. Just another cool MLS trick to help ambitious teams bring in stars.

      • Which is a good thing.

        It is not like only LA can do this. Any team can, it just only a few take advantage of this.

      • Although I agree with u…most of the DP type players are going to prefer to play in new York or LA. That’s no fault of the teams in those areas. Shoot I don’t even want to live in Columbus or salt lake city. So most of these rules increasing salaries to attract bigger names are going to help just a handful of teams until our league is recognized more than just our cities that people want to settle down in.

      • Well look at it this way, you can buy down any players salary. So maybe Real and Columbus can’t pull off a big name player but they still can add a quality DP.

      • Or Toronto, or Orlando, or Seattle. Give me a break…. they’ll go where the money is when it’s this major. Most teams just don’t want to pony up the cash.

    • All the reports keep saying Allocation Money was used. If that is correct, and they didn’t use TARGETED Allocation Money, then they may still have the $500k TAM to buy his contract down next year and just used AM to buy it down this year. How they keep him beyond that, who knows. Isn’t Gerrard only signed through next year too?

  19. Win-Win for NYCFC and the Galaxy by making the trade. Include Garber into the win column. He has always helped the Galaxy achieve what they need and now he is helping NYCFC. Surprise Surprise. If he could have those 2 in the finals every year he would sign for it!!

    • “MLS needs to develop roster depth and acquire talent that will lead to international respect! BOOOO!!!!!”

      Internal Star Signs with Not Your Team

      “MLS needs to stop changing the rules so that teams can develop roster depth and acquire talent that will lead to international respect! BOOOO!!!!!”


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