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LA Galaxy add Brazilian winger Douglas Costa as Designated Player

The latest global star to join the G’s.

Robert Mora/LA Galaxy

After weeks of murmurings, the news is out: Douglas Costa is a member of the LA Galaxy.

The club announced Costa’s signing on Thursday. The Brazilian will be on a six-month loan to the Galaxy from Gremio, and then will be a permanent free transfer after that, on a one-and-a-half year contract that will run through the 2023 season. Costa will be a Designated Player and obviously occupy an international roster slot.

“Douglas is a world-class player and a proven champion at the highest level. His capacity to create and finish will add yet another level to our attack,” said head coach Greg Vanney in a team statement. “We are excited to integrate him into the team as we push toward the start of the season.”

Costa, 31, moves to Los Angeles after an illustrious career on two continents. Starting out at Brazilian power Gremio in 2008, Costa was part of the Brazilian pipeline to Ukrainian power Shakhtar Donetsk in 2010, spending five years there and making over 200 appearances at the perennial Champions League entrant.

In 2015, Costa really hit the global elite, moving to Bayern Munich and staying for two seasons, before moving to Juventus for three seasons. He made a one-season return to Bayern on loan, before making a return to Brazil to Gremio, playing this season on loan from Juve.

A Brazil international with 31 senior caps, Costa has won 11 league titles, five domestic cups, a club world cup and the U-20 South American championship in his career to date, so he certainly knows what it takes to win.

Costa is kind of the definition of “mercurial winger.” Not a prolific scorer ever in his career, and frankly not too much of a bulk assist man either, Costa’s speed and ability to beat a defender on the dribble was world class not too long ago, and if he can stay healthy and adapt in MLS quickly, there should be optimism his raw numbers will improve in this league. At the very least, he’s an upgrade over the winger options on the roster, and his ability to play on both the left and right flanks gives Greg Vanney considerable flexibility in slotting him into the lineup.

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