Juninho is headed back to LA, and this time, he's here to stay.
The LA Galaxy announced on Wednesday that the club has completed the signing of the Brazilian midfielder to a multi-year contract. After spending each of the past three seasons with the Galaxy on loan from Brazilian club São Paulo, the 24-year-old has now been permanently transferred to the club and will re-join the team for the preseason.
Per club and league policy, details of the contract were not released.
Since first joining the Galaxy ahead of the start of the 2010 MLS season, Juninho has appeared in 87 regular-season games, scoring 13 goals while adding eight assists. He set career-highs in 2012 by appearing in 32 regular-season games while adding seven goals and four assists. He continued that form into the postseason, appearing in all six of the club’s games during their run to a second straight MLS Cup championship and collecting two assists.
After setting up Mike Magee’s 70th-minute equalizer against Vancouver in the Knockout Round for the first assist of his postseason career, Juninho added his second in MLS Cup against Houston, providing the cross for Omar Gonzalez to head in the equalizer as the Galaxy went on to claim a 3-1 victory.
An MLS All-Star in 2011, Juninho has not only shined in MLS play, but also in the CONCACAF Champions League, where he has four goals in 10 appearances to make him the club’s all-time leading scorer in the competition.
He scored twice in LA’s 5-2 home win over Isidro Metapán on August 23, becoming the first Galaxy player to score multiple goals in the same game of that competition. Those two goals came amidst a stretch that saw him score six goals in six games in all competitions. He finished the year with nine goals in 42 games in all competitions, good for second on the team in games played and tied for third with Mike Magee in goals scored.