Giovani dos Santos
How Acquired: LA Galaxy sign Giovani dos Santos to Designated Player contract on July 15, 2015
2016: In his first full season with the LA Galaxy, Giovani dos Santos became the sixth player in Galaxy history to record double digits in goals and assists in one season (14,12). Dos Santos was nominated four times to MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week, selected twice for MLS Player of the Week and once for MLS Goal of the Week. Dos Santos was also selected LA Galaxy Player of the Year. He started in all three of the Galaxy’s playoff contests, recording one goal and one assist in three games.
2015: Dos Santos appeared in 10 games for the Galaxy in 2015, starting in each of them after his midseason arrival. He made quite the MLS debut, scoring and tallying an assist in his first appearance on Aug. 9 against Seattle. He would finish the season with three goals and five assists.
Dos Santos signed with the Galaxy from Villarreal CF in La Liga BBVA, Spain’s top-flight professional division, where he spent two seasons from 2013-14. Dos Santos has also played for FC Barcelona in La Liga and Tottenham Hotspur FC in England’s Barclays Premier League.
At the age of 11, Dos Santos joined Barcelona’s Academy at the famed La Masia, where he had an immediate impact and helped lead his club to numerous youth titles in Barcelona’s Juvenil A. He made his first professional appearance for FC Barcelona in 2006, scoring in his debut against AGF Aarhus in a friendly competition. Just a year later, he made his competitive debut against Athletic Bilbao at the age of 18. During the 2007-08 season, Dos Santos made 26 appearances for FC Barcelona between La Liga and UEFA Champions League matches, scoring four goals and notching five assists.
Following 2008, Dos Santos transferred to Tottenham Hotspur FC. From 2008-12, he remained with Tottenham while spending time with Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander on loan. He returned to Spain in 2012, signing with Mallorca where he went on to mark 26 appearances while scoring 6 goals during the 20012-13 season. The Mexican then had his best professional stint the following year with Villarreal, where he led his club to a sixth-place finish after promotion to La Liga, notching 12 goals and eight assists in all competitions with the club. In his two years with Villarreal, he recorded 17 goals and 14 assists.
The Monterrey product began his international career began with the Mexico U-17 side when he helped win the 2005 U-17 World Championship and earned the tournament’s Silver Ball award. He also spent time with Mexico’s U-20 side at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, leading his team to a quarterfinals appearance. In 2012, the attacker helped Mexico make history by scoring three goals en route to winning the 2012 London Olympics Gold Medal, the first time Mexico has received gold in Olympic soccer
In 2007, Dos Santos earned his first cap with the senior Mexican national team, making an appearance against Panama and his current Galaxy teammate, Jaime Penedo. His first goal for Mexico came in 2009, when he recorded a brace in a match against Venezuela. Since then, he has made over 80 appearances for his country in competitions including two FIFA World Cups, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and CONCACAF Gold Cups. He helped lead Mexico to the 2011 Gold Cup championship, scoring a brilliant goal against the USMNT to seal a victory in the final.
In 2016, Dos Santos was called in for four matches with the Mexican National Team including two WCQ matches against USA and Panama. Mexico went 3-0-1 in those matches, with Dos Santos scoring in one and assisting in another.