The LA Galaxy have signed Mexican midfielder Jonathan dos Santos from Spain’s Villarreal CF as the team’s third Designated Player, the club announced today. Dos Santos, a regular starter for the Mexican National Team, joins the Galaxy after playing for Barcelona and Villarreal in Spain’s top-flight division, La Liga. He will occupy an International roster spot and officially join the Galaxy’s roster pending the receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa.
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The 27-year-old Dos Santos will begin training on Friday, July 28 at StubHub Center before being introduced to media as a member of the LA Galaxy during a press conference in the American Express Stadium Club at 1 p.m. PT. LA Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid and LA Galaxy players will be available to media on the field immediately following training. He will not be available for selection when the team hosts Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, July 29 at 7 p.m. PT live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
“Jonathan is a quality player that we think instantly becomes a top midfielder in Major League Soccer,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Pete Vagenas. “His signing will significantly improve our team as we continue to push for the playoffs and, ultimately, a sixth MLS Cup. We believe Jonathan will be a leader during the second half of this season and for years to come. We look forward to him joining our squad.”
Dos Santos joins the Galaxy after most recently representing Mexico in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he was named to the tournament’s Best XI after starting in four games and helping his country reach the semifinals. The midfielder began his career with F.C. Barcelona in 2009 before joining Villarreal, where he has made nearly 90 league appearances and scored four goals since 2014.
“Jonathan is an excellent midfielder with a wide range of technical abilities,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “He can fit into our lineup at a number of different positions and improve our team in multiple ways. He still has his best years of playing in front of him and we are excited to add him to our team.”
Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Dos Santos joined Barcelona’s famed academy system, La Masia, where he developed before making his eventual debut with the first team as a 19-year-old on Oct. 28, 2009, during a match in Spain’s Copa del Rey. He remained with Barcelona through 2014, making 29 appearances in all competitions, including matches played in the UEFA Champions’ League, La Liga SuperCopa and the Copa del Rey.
In 2014, Dos Santos moved to Villarreal CF in La Liga, where he developed into one of Spain’s standout midfielders. During his time with the club, the Mexican international has made over 120 appearances in all competitions, while scoring seven times and adding eight assists.
Internationally, Dos Santos has made 29 appearances across all competitions as a member of the Mexican National Team, including matches in FIFA World Cup Qualifying and the FIFA Confederations Cup. The midfielder made his debut for his country in 2009 at the age of 19.
Dos Santos will join the LA Galaxy as the team’s third Designated Player, alongside Frenchman Romain Alessandrini and his brother, Giovani dos Santos.