Four years ago, Giovani Dos Santos ruled Los Angeles for one night. That's when he inspired Mexico's come-from-behind, 4-2 win over the USMNT in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, coming out victorious in front of more than 93,000 people at the Rose Bowl.
Now, Dos Santos has a chance to enjoy a longer reign in Hollywood after signing a Designated Player contract with the LA Galaxy, following a transfer from Spain's Villarreal CF.
The team announced Wednesday that he'll now join Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard as the Galaxy's Designated Players. Defender Omar Gonzalez, formerly a Designated Player, had his contract bought down with the recently-announced Targeted Allocation Money, opening up another Designated Player slot on the team. Per league and team policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Dos Santos comes to the Galaxy after two seasons at Villarreal. Prior to that, he also played for other first-division teams in Europe, including Mallorca in Spain, and Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League.
It's his accomplishments with the Mexican national team, however, for which he is best-known. A Monterrey native, Dos Santos began his long run of championships for his country as a child, when he first helped lead his team to victory in the Under-12 Danone International Cup. Since then, he's racked up more than 80 international appearances for Mexico, including two FIFA World Cups, the 2012 London Olympics, and two Gold Cups.
In the 2011 Gold Cup, in fact, he scored the winning goal in Mexico's victorious 4-2 final against the US, a feat against Tim Howard that would later be named best goal of the tournament.
Now, at age 26, Dos Santos is the first active Mexican national team player to sign with MLS since Rafa Marquez, and the seventh signed Mexican Designated Player in MLS history, joining Marquez, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and others. He'll join the Galaxy roster after the conclusion of this year's CONCACAF Gold Cup.