After weeks of rumors, the LA Galaxy confirmed the signing of Mexican International Giovani Dos Santos on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it expected Dos Santos will arrive to the Galaxy in August following the conclusion of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
On a geographic standpoint, it is a win-win for both parties. For the LA Galaxy and MLS, Giovani Dos Santos brings to the league one of the most recognized soccer names south of the border, a gold-medalist, a winner of a U-17 World Cup with Mexico, and a veteran of two FIFA World Cups. It is also a step towards the right direction in securing some of the support of Southern California's significant Mexican-American population.
For Giovani Dos Santos, an opportunity like this doesn't come often. A few months ago, Gio described his time at Villarreal, a city with approximately 52,000 inhabitants, as a place "with almost nothing to do". The prospect of calling Los Angeles his home was undoubtedly one of the big selling points for MLS.
In fact, finding a home has been difficult for Gio since the start of his professional career. In a 2013 interview by Spanish newspaper El Pais, Gio claimed his exit from Barcelona as a 17-year-old was due to the fact that he wasn't Catalan, and the team's preference of keeping Catalan-born forward Bojan Krkić instead of him.
After scoring a hat-trick in his last game with the Bluegrana, Gio became something of a journey-man, playing in six different teams in seven years. When it looked like Gio had found his feet at Mallorca, where he played in the 2012/2013 season, the team was relegated, forcing the club to let Dos Santos go to Villarreal.
At the Yellow Submarine, things didn't get any better. His deteriorating relationship with manager Marcelino Garcia Toral may have been the reason Villarreal opted to cash in on the Mexican forward.
Moreover, it hasn't helped that he has been a victim of El Tri's rigorous international calendar throughout his career, and nagging injuries have followed him everywhere he has played. Since making his debut with the Mexico national team in 2009, Dos Santos has participated in at least one international competition each year.
But his move to the LA Galaxy offers to rid him of those tiresome transatlantic flights and promises him a fresh start to his professional career. Moving from one of Europe's top leagues to MLS is by no means ideal for a player of Dos Santos' talent, but his decision to choose MLS provides him the opportunity to be part of a community and a place to finally call home.
It won't be easy, and as Galaxy manager Bruce Arena told the LA Times," He's going to have to be mature about it." At the end of the day, though, that may be the easiest part. He has already found a place where he feels like he is wanted.