LOS ANGELES – The LA Galaxy have been eager to add a new dimension to their attack amid a turbulent 2020, and Wednesday, the club accomplished their goal with the signing of Colombian winger Yony Gonzalez.
Gonzalez joins the Galaxy on loan from Portuguese giants S.L. Benfica who signed him just a year ago after a successful stint with Brazilian club Fluminense. Most recently, the 26-year-old winger from Medellin, Colombia, spent time on loan with Corinthians.
"He's one of the players that has been followed by the coaching staff for a while. In Guillermo's former club, he played against him and followed his career. He was having an excellent year last year with Fluminense, which helped him sign a contract with Benfica," te Kloese told LAGalaxy.com. "And this year has been a challenging year for everybody. So for him to be loaned out to Corinthians and only play a few games, it's an excellent opportunity for us with the schedule as it sits to be able to have him for the rest of the year and evaluate if this is someone that we hope and think could be part of our future."
According to the Galaxy general manager, Gonzalez brings an added dimension to the Los Angeles attack, which has yet to reach its stride in 2020. Initially, a left-winger during his time in Colombia, Gonzalez frequently played as a center forward and right flank during his breakout season with Fluminense, tallying nine goals and five assists across the domestic and international competition for the Brazilian club.
For a Galaxy attack that was often reliant on the production of Cristian Pavon during the MLS is Back Tournament, Gonzalez's arrival is a welcome addition.
"It's common sense for us that his chances to play will be on the outside, competing for a spot there, so that we can utilize his physicality and strength. There's a lot of upside with him and a lot of expectations based on what he showed in Brazil, and he's a player who's on the radar with the Colombian national team, so hopefully, we can provide a good showcase for him," te Kloese said.
"What stands out to me is his work rate. He combines a lot of talent from both sides of the field with a high work rate, which in MLS is indispensable. It's a high paced game with a lot of transition and a lot of going back in forth that his physicality and work rate gives us something extra."
Gonzalez's signature secured and a disappointing tournament in Orlando behind them, the Galaxy general manager is bullish about his club's prospects for the futures -- and declares that further moves are on the horizon.
"I think to have a full team competing for starting spots that will help us. So for us to be able to have Javier and numbers and Jonathan fully fit with a team at some point, that will bring us to a different level.
"With separating ways from [Aleksandar] Katai, there was somebody that obviously at the beginning of the season, there was a high expectation and that the quality that he has left us a big hole, which hopefully we filled with the arrival of Yony Gonzalez. We're still actively looking to strengthen the squad. We're looking at strengthening our defense, and we're evaluating the possibility of bringing somebody in, and hopefully a little by little we can put in the pieces so that this season is a successful one at the end of the year and one that we can be proud of."