Giovani dos Santos
HOW ACQUIRED: Transferred from Villarreal and signed as a Designated Player on July 15, 2015.
The LA Galaxy signed the 26-year-old from Villarreal, where he spent the previous two seasons. Dos Santos has also played for Barcelona in La Liga and Tottenham in England’s 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.
On the field, Dos Santos is a crafty attacking player known for his technique, playmaking abilities and quickness, and can play anywhere across the attacking line. He enjoyed a strong first full season with the Galaxy in 2016, registering 14 goals and 12 assists in the regular season, plus another goal and an assist in LA's three playoff games.
INTERNATIONAL: While his club career has not always been smooth sailing, Dos Santos has excelled on the international stage for Mexico. Perhaps his most memorable moment came in the 2011 Gold Cup final against the United States, when he bewitched the US defense with a mazy run before curling the ball into the far corner, spurring Mexico on to a win. He has scored 17 goals in 90 appearances for El Tri and won three Gold Cup titles (2009, 2011, 2015), an Olympic gold medal (2012) an Under-17 World Cup (2005).
OUTSIDE MLS: Dos Santos enjoyed an up-and-down career in Europe before joining the Galaxy. He struggled to establish himself in Barcelona's first team after coming up through the academy and was sold to Tottenham after one senior season (2007-2008) with the Blaugrana. He had a similarly tough time at Spurs, making just 33 appearances in all competitions and being loaned out three times in his four-year spell at the club. He finally found some purchase in Spain, enjoying strong stints with Mallorca and Villarreal, before moving to LA. Dos Santos comes from a soccer family. His father, Brazilian player Zizinho, starred in Mexico during the 1980s and his brother, Jonathan, is a professional player and has been Giovani's teammate with Barcelona, Villarreal and Mexico. His elder half-brother, Eder dos Santos, was on the books at Club América but never played for the first team.