Today the league announced the MLS 2016 Best XI, and not just one but two LA Galaxy players made the final cut: Mexican international Giovani dos Santos and Belgian center back Jelle Van Damme.
Ironically, many including Bruce Arena lament Gio for his inconsistency, but the 27-year-old Dos Santos put up the numbers his second season in LA, scoring 14 goals with 12 assists and earning his way back onto the Mexican National Team.
As for Van Damme, the Standard Liege captain took the league by storm with his physical defending. When the big Belgian wasn’t delivering crunching tackles or making goal-line clearances, the center back was dangerous in the attack, racking up four assists while somehow managing not to score in his debut season. A leader by example, the jovial Van Damme anchored one of the league’s top defenses. If not for a ridiculous tear by Sounders playmaker Nicolas Lodiero at the tail end of the season, Van Damme probably wins the Comeback Player of the Year award as well.
It’s nice the pair were given their due recognition in what was mostly a disappointing season for the Galaxy.