Tag Archives: Giovani Dos Santos

Hellos and Goodbyes- Galaxy Makes Last Minute Roster Adjustments

LA Galaxy Key Contributor

By Debbie Haar // @GalaxySoccerMom

Gio

Photo Credit MLSSoccer.com

After much anticipation and concern regarding the Galaxy’s seeming non-compliance with the MLS 3 designated player policy, the L.A. Galaxy announced Friday afternoon that Giovanni Dos Santos would be leaving the club.

The 29-year-old forward, joined the Galaxy on a transfer from Spanish club Villareal midway through the 2015 season with big goals and a lot of hype. According to MLSsoccer.com, Dos Santos performed well in the first year and a half of his Galaxy career with 17 goals and 17 assists. His playing time and success on the field began to fade with a mere 3 goals and 2 assists in the 2018 season.

After ongoing injuries and muscular issues, Gio was off the field for the entirety of the Galaxy’s 2019 preseason. Gio’s lack of presence and continual injuries were not the Galaxy’s only problem as they still had 4 designated players while the league allows only 3.

The other 3 DP’s on the Galaxy’s roster are French midfielder Romain Alessandrini, Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Mexican midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, Gio’s younger brother. Gio dos Santos’ contract guaranteed him $6 million in 2018, the 5thhighest salary in MLS soccer.

Ola

Photo credit L.A. Galaxy

On Wednesday the Galaxy announced the transfer of 29-year-old Norwegian forward Ola Kamara to Shenzhen F.C. of the Chinese Super League. Kamara spent 4 years in MLS, first with Columbus Crew and one season with the Galaxy. In his lone season with the club, he played 31 matches and had 14 goals and 2 assists. The Athletic’s Kristian Dyer was first to break the details of his 3-year, $3 million a year contract with a hefty $3.5 million transfer fee.

L.A. Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese was quoted as saying “This decision will be mutually beneficial to both our club and Ola. Ola wanted to pursue opportunities elsewhere, and we worked to complete a move that will give us options to strengthen our roster moving forward. We thank Ola for what he has contributed to this club and wish him the best in his future.”

Emil-Cuello

Photo Credit: L.A. Galaxy

The Galaxy may have lost two players this week but they were excited to announce two very promising additions. Midfielder Emil Cuello, 22, was picked up by the Galaxy with the 19thoverall pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Cuello, an Orem, Utah native played midfield for Southern Methodist University the last four years winning a slew of awards and accommodations.

Te Kloese said “He has played well during our preseason, showing his ability and technicality. We look forward to Emil officially joining our roster and his contributions during the upcoming season.” During the preseason games, the fans were buzzing after seeing first hand what Cuello has to offer the team.

Julian-araujo

Photo credit: L.A. Galaxy

The Galaxy Friday announced the signing of 17-year-old defender Julian Araujo after much talk about the teams need for defenders. Araujo, from Lompoc, was a part of the L.A. Galaxy Boy’s Academy and has also spent time with the U.S. Soccer Youth National Teams.

Te Kloese stated, “Julian is one of the best young defenders in Southern California and we thrilled he has chosen to begin his professional career with the L.A. Galaxy.”

In order to secure Araujo, the Galaxy, in a prior transaction, traded $50,000 in TAM to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for the number 1 spot in the Waiver Order. The Galaxy was then able to select Araujo off those waivers.

With all the last minute changes to the Galaxy’s roster this week, the fans are curious to see how all this change will materialize on the field. The L.A. Galaxy 2019 home opener is Saturday, March 2, at 5pm against the Chicago Fire at the Dignity Health Sports Park.

Featured image: @LAGalaxy

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Don’t hit the panic switch on the LA Galaxy just yet

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, May 5: 3-2 Loss

I watched highlights and listened via the radio stream for this match as the LA Galaxy traveled to BBVA Compass Stadium for the match Saturday, May 5, 2018, where the crowd was sold out.

Image @LAGalaxy

Starting XI: David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©; Sebastian Lletget, Perry Kitchen; Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos, Ola Kamara; Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Bench: Justin Vom Steeg, Emrah Klimenta, Daniel Steres, Servando Carrasco, Jonathan dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Pontius

My heart broke as The LA Galaxy lost at the last minute to the Houston Dynamo, a game that should’ve been in the bag for LA. But, it doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning as Vin Diesel once said in The Fast and the Furious.

It is frustrating to watch a talented team struggle, fight back and then lose. But, the Galaxy aren’t just fighting, they’re chasing the ball and clawing their way from two-goal deficits. I commend them for being able to come back. But, conceding goals early and fighting tooth and nail are not the way anyone wants this to go. The problem lies in our defense as well. At this point, all eyes are on coach Sigi Schmid.

LAG was able to have the same starting XI for two games now. I think consistency is key, but there are many keys to unlocking their success. Giovani Dos Santos scored his second goal on a good run that he was able to keep to the far post. Ola Kamara scored also on an assist from Gio Dos Santos who had gotten the ball off a spinning pass that resembled more of a martial arts move from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This trio combined to make that first and second goal happen. It seemed the team was finally given a break.

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Giovani Dos Santos and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Image: @LAGalaxy

I have to hand it to the Los Angeles Galaxy for showing heart. In the first half, possession was in their favor just barely, but the other side says LA was dominated. David Romney and even Kamara play out of their comfortable positions to do what is asked of them. Let’s give them kudos to come back after being down two goals for the third time this season. David Bingham keeps making numerous saves.

They are two points up from this time last year, the infamous season that everyone keeps referring to; I have to admit, things are not looking good right now. But, I am an optimist. This doesn’t mean I am not realistic. I want my team to win. I want them to be more in control of the game. I want this team to rebuild the fortress that was StubHub Center.

The same problems keep surfacing for the LA Galaxy, which tells me this is fixable. We cannot expect Kamara and Ibrahimovic to carry or lift the team. I hope this wakes up the team because the first two Houston goals were soft ones. We are about to face FC Dallas and Montreal Impact, both teams that are formidable opponents as we are the away team.

Featured image of Ola Kamara courtesy: @LAGalaxy 

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The LA Galaxy keep putting one foot in front of the other

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, April 28: 2-3 Loss

I wanted this title to reflect the ’90s, but this song by Walk the Moon makes more sense. The Los Angeles Galaxy did celebrate their last 22 years with Throwback night on Saturday, April 28, 2018. They played ‘90s music, had a discounted scarf that was the classic gold and green, and gave out a clear fanny pack.

Our starting lineup: David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole; Sebastian Lletget, Perry Kitchen; Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos, Ola Kamara; Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Substitutions:

Justin Vom Steeg, Emrah Klimenta, Daniel Steres, Servando Carrasco, Baggio Husidic, Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Pontius.

We conceded two goals in the first half. I was sitting near the New York Red Bulls’ supporters to give myself a different experience at this match. I was by myself for the first time, but I didn’t mind since I always end up chatting with people around me. It was a near capacity crowd.

I knew I would move for the second half. I wanted a specific Galaxy jacket but found out it had been discontinued. So, I was cold and during halftime went and got myself some new gear, including that throwback scarf to show how long I’d been a fan. I have a Landon Donovan shirt that’s also the classic style, but it’s gotten small since 2005.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Rick Koser and I. Image: Michelle Huitink

After shopping, I had time in the half to meet up with fellow fan, Rick Koser, who invited me to come sit with him in section 116. We chatted about soccer, of course, and got to know each other a bit; we are both SoCal natives.

I said how LAG had a good start. David Bingham had really been making fantastic saves, and the Galaxy needs to be more patient. As for the calls not being in our favor, we both expressed displeasure with VAR and the refs’ decisions. Rick, who became a season ticket member three years ago said, “the Galaxy can’t catch a break.” I agree wholeheartedly.

We noticed the confetti that seemed to keep floating in the stadium. Fellow MLSFemale writer, Jess Houwen, texted me asking if it was confetti she was seeing on her screen. According to this tweet, this is why…

We continued to watch our beloved team fight for us.

Romain Alessandrini kept the ball in play and even slid to keep it in the 63rd minute. He took on the defenders and after the 73rd minute, he faced a RBNY player one on one “dancing” with him to keep possession of the ball. He really stood out most to me in both halves.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Romain Alessandrini. Image: Michelle Huitink

We came back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game. Ola Kamara scored in the 59th minute on an assist from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He hadn’t scored since the home opener. Then, Giovani Dos Santos scored in the 66th minute. He hadn’t scored since May 27, 2017.

Then, as fate would have it, a penalty was called and RBNY’s Alejandro Romero scored in the 84th minute.

Even with five minutes extra time, the Galaxy came up short and lost at home again.

The New York Red Bulls played a good game. Florian Valot scored a great goal in the 49th minute. This was a team that played in the CONCACAF Champions League. They’re tough and were also coming off a previous home loss, so I can’t emphasize enough how proud I am of my LA Galaxy to take them on and score two goals.

At times it felt there was a magnetic field around the net for the Galaxy when they tried to score. The calls against us really seemed to take the wind out of the LA Galaxy’s sails. Alessandrini was understandably frustrated since his goal in the first half had been rescinded post celebration per VAR.

I could blame the refs more, but there’s no point here. I’ve watched the United States Men’s National Team fight in the World Cup against bad, and what we see as unfair, calls; it’s how the game goes sometimes. We got to push on despite that. They really did fight til the whistle blew.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic played 90 minutes again.

Sebastian Lletget played a full 90 minutes since his injury.

I want to focus on our progress. I mean, Gio Dos Santos scored, y’all! Ola Kamara scored. Everyone on that pitch: the starting lineup and subs Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Pontius, and Daniel Steres put in their best effort.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Cozmo, our mascot, in his throwback outfit. Image: Michelle Huitink

It’s going to be tough ahead as we have a three-game road stretch. I have all the faith in my team and wish them well as injuries continue to plague the soccer world.

Featured image courtesy: Michelle Huitink 

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Catching Stride Away From LA

Allison Sorrell - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell // @AJSorrell_

After the LA Galaxy‘s last home-stand (a 2-2 draw to Chicago Fire), a four week road trip didn’t seem like a good idea this season for a Galaxy team that’s been struggling more than they have in the past 10 years. With twelve points on the table available on this road trip, it wasn’t extremely misplaced to say the Galaxy wouldn’t come home with many points. I personally, frustrated from the team’s struggles, honestly thought we might end up with two or three. I wasn’t the only one.

We were wrong.

Here we are, two matches in, having accumulated 6/6 points available. I never want us to play at StubHub Center again. For a team that has historically held a fortress at home, and struggled on the road, this is a little weird to watch, but then again, so is this whole season under the watch of Kurt Onalfo. Either way, I’ll take points any way I can get them.

Last Sunday’s match at Minnesota United (3-7-2) had the Galaxy facing a team in a bit of a similar situation. Both teams in question started the season slowly (to put it lightly), and had similar ranking in the western conference. Despite this, once again, the Galaxy came out swinging, winning with a 2-1 scoreline.

I’m going to start with the negative, because this time, there weren’t many. Baggio Husidic’s injury, which has been ruled a broken leg has him out for around two to three months per Onalfo. With the center midfield spot left open by two injured players now, after the midfield was finally finding its form after the match at Red Bull Arena, Rafael Garcia came in to fill in and surprisingly, contributed well to the attack after being subbed in at the 8th minute.

Though there were many chances, the first ball that hit the back of the net for the Galaxy came from Giovani Dos Santos in the 38th minute, only his second in the run of play all season. The Galaxy dominated the rest of the half and for the beginning of the second, until Minnesota’s Christian Ramirez snuck one in at the 66th minute. Thankfully, he did the Galaxy a favor as well in the 84th minute with an own goal to give us the win.

Moving forward, it will be interesting who takes the spot left open by Jermaine Jones, and then again by Baggio Husidic. Jaime Villarreal, the younger of the Galaxy’s homegrown brothers made his first team debut this match. He’s been creating a lot of chances and finishing a lot of balls for Los Dos (LA Galaxy II) in the past few years, and I think he and his brother, who has been MIA for a bit from the first team 18 most of the season, could do some good with all of the injuries currently plaguing the midfield of the first team.

Saturday at San Jose (5-4-4) should be another challenge for a team that’s just now catching their stride. Though San Jose hasn’t had the greatest month, only catching one win out of the four matches played in May, the Galaxy’s real challenge comes in the form of creating chances in the midfield, with players like Garcia, Villarreal, or even Raul Mendiola filling in.

I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but I think we can run away with three points at Avaya Stadium, as well, if we keep the form we’ve had these past two matches.

Featured image courtesy: @LAGalaxy

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Allison - LA Galaxy
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell // @AJSorrell_

Sunday, May 14: 1-3 Win

Sunday’s match was an unexpected breath of fresh air.

With this match being the first of four consecutive away matches coming directly after a brutal loss and a couple of uneventful draws, LA Galaxy fans didn’t have the most positive outlook heading into last Sunday at Red Bull Arena.

The week leading into Sunday’s match, Galaxy players and coaches alike cited last week’s draw against Chicago Fire as a turn in the right direction. I can speak for myself and probably many other avid followers of this LA team when I say I was a little more than skeptical that a draw at home could possibly be a turn in the right direction. Thankfully, those of us that thought that were wrong.

This LA team walked into this match at Red Bull Arena more confident than I’ve seen them at even any of our home matches this season. The Galaxy got their first solid chance in the 7th minute when the ball bounced between a few players in the box, but the play ended in Romain Alessandrini drawing a foul just outside of the box, and subsequently scoring a beautiful ‘goal of the week’ worthy goal directly off of the free kick in the 8th minute.

With the Galaxy having the game in their hands for the first time in longer than I can even remember, the added confidence led to Alessandrini earning a second goal in the 9th minute. Not only are the Galaxy only the second squad this year to earn a goal against the Red Bulls on their own turf, but this looks like a complete 180 for the Galaxy we’ve been seeing all season. I think we all would have liked to be flies on the wall during training last week.

While Alessandrini was the star of the show (as he has been all season, let’s be real), some other bright moments came from Giovani dos Santos, who has been extremely quiet for most of the season, but earned the assist in the 9th minute, and had a much more inspired game than I’ve seen from him all season. He went on to score the goal from the penalty kick drawn by Alessandrini.

If the score line wasn’t enough, it was easy to see that the Galaxy has turned over a better leaf by watching the celebration after the third goal. We’re not out of the woods yet, but for once this year the future isn’t looking quite as bleak. The real test will be in how we handle the rest of this trip away from home.

While Brian Rowe only missed the clean sheet by less than a minute after Daniel Royer’s goal for the Red Bulls in stoppage time, Rowe seemed to gain a little confidence back as well, and I think we’ll be seeing him as the starter for the long haul.

It was almost as if the Red Bulls were uninspired this whole match, which is the same thing I’ve expected from the Galaxy most of this season. They sat back at home, didn’t take necessary chances, and consequently left this match defeated at home for the first time all season. But hey, I’m not complaining.

Featured image of Romain Alessandrini courtesy: @LAGalaxy

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Well, That Was Embarrassing

Allison - LA Galaxy
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell @AJSorrell_

Sunday, April 23: 0-3 Loss

I was a little too optimistic last week.

Let’s be real, this Galaxy team (2-5-0) is… bad. Being at (almost) the bottom of the table, even this early in the season, doesn’t lie. It points to a change that needs to be made, and quickly.

Per Kevin Baxter, the LA Galaxy already have as many home losses in 2017 as they do in the past two seasons combined. We haven’t won a single game this season playing against 11 men— both wins we do have under our belt coming from sides of ten due to red card send offs.

Let’s start with the positives here. Admittedly, there aren’t very many. Brian Rowe is back, but I’m sure the only reason for this breath of fresh air is Diop’s nagging hip injury from last weekend against Orlando (2-1 loss). Despite the score line against Seattle, he gives the back line a little more of a sense of security and as a fan, I’m not quite as worried about him every single time the ball even enters the final third.

This Seattle Sounders side was relentless throughout most of the first half, but didn’t even put one (of their three) goals in the back of the net until the 29th minute. Until that point this Galaxy squad was confident enough, but you could see that confidence deplete with each second that passed afterwards.

From here on out you would think that Seattle was the home side, pulling in a second goal in the 35th minute, and a third in the 44th. The Galaxy’s defense just didn’t exist… but neither did the offense.

Let’s be honest here, this match was a complete wash for LA. The only good chance we had at even getting one back came in the 51st minute for Giovani Dos Santos, who missed a ball you never would’ve seen him miss even last season.

Last week, the little spark of positivity I cited was the Galaxy’s notorious “slow starts can still win MLS Cups” line. This isn’t a slow start anymore. Our offense isn’t scoring goals. Our defense can’t keep it together. Coaching decisions don’t make much sense.

Finally, no one in this organization is confident, and the tension can be cut with a knife. Curt Onalfo refused to comment on Dos Santos performance, even after being cited the previous week as saying he’s ready to go and is playing well. Emmanuel Boateng and Ashley Cole both came off of the field dodging Onalfo’s attempts at a handshake. And finally, large amounts of fans are calling for members of the coaching staff and members of the front office to lose their jobs. This all feels like an active volcano right before it blows.

For fans, the push on the new recycled jerseys we wore last week and the sassy quips on Galaxy social media we usually know and love seem more like distractions against the way the team is playing (which do I have to say one more time is terrible?) and it isn’t going unnoticed. I was willing to give it a break after last week at Orlando, where we only fell by one. But at this point? Something’s gotta give.

#allisongroup
Image courtesy: @LAGalaxy

I still don’t have any doubt that this team can pull through this. If there is one thing that this organization usually knows how to do its adapt to change and pull through. It just needs to happen a little quicker than it currently is. We need that usual unfaltering confidence back— players, coaches, front office, and fans alike.

Let’s see what happens next week with Philadelphia Union who, thankfully, are also at the bottom of the table. Maybe we have a chance at gaining some level of momentum back, or at least some reprieve from what already feels like an extremely long season.

Featured image courtesy of: @LAGalaxy

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