CARSON, Calif. -- There were moments in the LA Galaxy's 3-1 triumph Sunday afternoon over Seattle that offered a glimpse of what's to come, and it couldn't have been pretty for the defending MLS Cup champions' many rivals.
The ball movement and interchange among LA's front six and outside backs was breathtaking on occasion, nearly as good as during their brilliant stretch last summer and fall, and the possibilities once everyone is on the same page are frightening.
The addition of Giovani Dos Santos, who scored a goal and assisted another in his MLS debut, has given the Galaxy (11-7-7), at least on paper, attacking tools beyond everything seen over this league's first 19.5 seasons. Now it just needs to simmer.
“We can achieve every goal we want,” said Dos Santos, whose errant touch fed Robbie Keane's winning goal at the start of the second half before he finished a 64th-minute breakaway to thrill a vibrant sellout crowd at StubHub Center. “We have a great team with a great attitude, with great players. We're looking forward to doing a great year, and, hopefully, we can get a title.”
That's the plan, a fourth MLS Cup crown in five seasons, and the arrivals of Steven Gerrard last month and Dos Santos nearly a week ago -- to go with Sebastian Lletget's impact after joining the club in May -- have added to a group that already shined with league MVP Keane and US national-teamer Gyasi Zardes.
“I think it's so exciting. Who knows what the future holds?” said Gerrard, whose partnership with Juninho in central midfield appeared to reach maturity during LA's fine second half Sunday. “The talent and the ability is certainly there. I think it's down to us to just produce. We've got all the tools. I think whoever we come up against is going to find it very hard to contain us.”
Dos Santos has trained just five times with his new teammates and is coming off an adductor injury suffered while with Mexico at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He looked good Sunday but has plenty of room to grow.
“Listen, when you score a goal, and I'm sure he's going to get that assist as well, I mean, what more do you want from him?” Keane said. “He's obviously not 100 percent fit -- he's probably about 80 -- [but] the last 20 minutes of the first half, you could see little signs where we're getting the ball into Gio's feet quickly, and it was causing some problems.”
Dos Santos agreed with the fitness assessment.
“I'm coming off an injury, and obviously, as I play more games and in these coming two weeks I am sure I will be in my best form,” he said in Spanish. “I will become fitter with more games and during training, and little by little, I will be recovering my best level, and it will be better for me and for the team.”
Head coach Bruce Arena said he “liked everything I saw” from Dos Santos. He's not sure what's to come.
“We have a long way to go ...,” he said. “I don't know what we're supposed to envision, but it'll take some time with our group playing together. ... I think already [Dos Santos'] chemistry with his teammates is good, and he's going to be a terrific player.”
“You could certainly see signs of it today ...,” Keane said. “You seen a few combinations there today that suggest going forward could be good once everybody is on the same page.”
Alan Gordon sees that, too.
“I think all we have left to do is chemistry,” he said. “That's the only thing left that we need to do. It's going to come with minutes together, on-the-pitch minutes. When we do that, I think we're going to be real good.”