Hubbub roils StubHub for Dos Santos introduction

A huge throng at LAX when his plane landed Sunday, dozens of cameras and reporters at his first training session Monday, and a packed press conference Tuesday to officially introduce him and the No. 10 jersey formerly worn by Landon Donovan. The era of Giovani Dos Santos in MLS has begun.

“This is a big club, with big players, and I have come here to win,” said Dos Santos, 26, who was acquired for a transfer fee of $7 million and signed to a contract valued at $27 million in base salary over four and a half seasons, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Timing is important in any move, and for me it was the right time to come her, I think in the prime of my career, and I’m ready to take that challenge.”

Like David Beckham before him, Dos Santos was the first player whose signing was announced following a major initiative in MLS's player signing mechanisms. Beckham signed as the league’s first Designated Player in January 2007, and Dos Santos signed with the Galaxy after MLS created a mechanism and funding source, Targeted Allocation Money, allowing the Galaxy to buy down the pro-rated salary-cap charge of defender Omar Gonzalez so he doesn’t count as a Designated Player.

On the Galaxy’s ledger, Dos Santos, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard fill the three slots allotted to DPs. He joins one of the strongest squads in MLS, which already features Gyasi Zardes, Sebastian Lletget and Juninho, and head coach Bruce Arena sees parallels to how the Galaxy played when it had Beckham and Donovan on the field with Keane.

“There’ll be a lot of similarities,” said Arena. “In the case of Gio, his qualities are that he’s a very good attacking player. We need him close to goal and we need the right players around him. Everyone needs to know their responsibilities.

“Gio can play as a striker with Robbie Keane, he can play in the midfielder underneath Robbie, or out wide in a variety of positions. As we grow together as a team, we’ll have a better understanding where he fits on the field to help both himself and the team. That’ll take a little bit of time. We will find a way for everybody to play well together.”

Dos Santos joins Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (28) in the category of international stars who have opted for MLS well before their 30th birthday, and he also fills a void among the demanding Mexican-American audience that the league has struggled to attract since former keeper Jorge Campos, who played for the Galaxy in the first two seasons of MLS (1996-97) left the Fire in 1998.

“I am very proud of being Mexican,” said Dos Santos, a native of Monterrey who joined the Barcelona program as a teenager and played one season with the first team before being sold to Tottenham in 2008. “It’s going to be great to play here with Mexican fans in Los Angeles. I hope I can represent very well my Mexican fans and the Mexican people.”

He never settled in at Spurs, and went out on loan three times before landing at Mallorca in 2012. (The paths of Keane and Dos Santos crossed briefly at Tottenham during two stints at the club by the Irish striker.)

Dos Santos scored six goals in 29 games as Mallorca was relegated, which prompted a move to Villarreal that he represented 58 times, netting 12 goals. All the while, his career was being tracked by the Galaxy and specifically assistant coach Jovan Kirovski, who stepped up his pursuit after being named technical director in January 2013.

“This is a long time coming for us, we’ve been chasing Giovani for a long time,” said team president Chris Klein of inquiries that started informally several years ago. “We’re very excited that he’s finally here and looking forward to getting him on the field.”

Arena will get his new arrival on the field as soon as possible and with two home games on tap, the timing is ideal. Unless misfortune intervenes, Dos Santos will get some minutes Thursday in the Galaxy’s Concacaf Champions League group opener against Central FC and Sunday in a league showdown with Seattle. Three days of hubbub will be manifested this week at StubHub as the Galaxy pushes hard on two competitive fronts.

“We want to be the best club not only in our league, but in the region,” said Klein. “We know there’s a number of different competitions, different ways, to measure that, but our goal is clear: We want to be the best in this region, and we’re going to continue to be aggressive every step of the way and in everything that we do.”

Editor's Note: This article was updated to reflect the fact the MLS player mechanisms that allowed the Galaxy to sign Beckham in 2007 and Dos Santos in 2015 were initiated for all clubs to use and not specifically for the Galaxy. Six MLS clubs have already used TAM to facilitate transactions.
7 comments about "Hubbub roils StubHub for Dos Santos introduction".
  1. DonJuego Lee, August 5, 2015 at 8:40 a.m.

    I am curious why no member of the press demands MLS show their math. Gonzales is listed by MLSPU as being paid $1.2m/yr base salary. If LAG uses all $500,000 to buy that down it is still well above the salary max thus still requiring a DP designation for Gonzales.

  2. Santiago 1314, August 5, 2015 at 9:43 a.m.

    Correcta Mundo DonJuego... I've been asking for awhile...NADA.!!!...*** Santiago 1314 commented on: July 15, 2015 at 3:23 p.m. Great for MLS.!!!!... But this Deal Smells Fishy...**Re-Post**....Santiago 1314 commented on: July 9, 2015 at 10:19 a.m....More Shenanigans to follow... The 500k(Targeted Allocation Money) to buy down Omar Gonzalez contact(1.25million) will not be enough to get Omar under the Maximum(436,250.oo)... So that means Gio, will have to come in at Non-DP status and for a Salary LESS THAN $936,249.oo...+ Transfer Fee to Villarreal...Probably Money Well Spent and Good for the MLS, Just don't treat us like Idiots... Come out and Say; "This is Good for the League, and We'll try to make it up to the rest Somehow" ///..."""Daniel Clifton commented on: July 9, 2015 at 10:55 a.m.....I thought Dos Santos wanted to stay in Spain. Why is he now willing to leave? I would like to see him in MLS. I just don't understand the motivation, including the financial end of it.///..."""Santiago 1314 commented on: July 9, 2015 at 4:42 p.m.....Dos Santos wants out of Spain like Many players do... La Hacienda(IRS) has really Cracked Down on the Under Table payments and Taxes are much Higher...Besides over there, he is seen as kind of a Under Achiever.. Here in MLS, He would be probably BIGGER than Beckham...

  3. Tim Brown, August 5, 2015 at 11:50 a.m.

    Dos santos is no BECKHAM. Get real. Although he is a good quality player and he is not past his prime as many recent MLS big star signings are.

  4. Raymond Weigand, August 5, 2015 at 12:29 p.m.

    DonJuego / Santiago: Somehow the MLS allows clubs like the Galaxy to trade or buy (?) to acquire the buy down credits of other clubs that are not going to use them. Supposedly it is a 'use it or lose it' proposition ... if you are a club not in a position to use - then you can trade or sell (?) ... Also, the credits are $100K per year over 5 years or $500K in one year ... somehow I think Omar is going to be on another team next season ... unless the guidelines change ... again.

  5. Ric Fonseca, August 5, 2015 at 5:22 p.m.

    Hey Senores, know what? Who cares! You well know that all pro-sport leagues are NOT wont to reveal all salaries, only and unless the Player's Union reveals them. So why bother and agonize how mucho, whomever, costs how much? Take a very good look at the salaries paid in the NBA, MLB, and NFL, and then try and do the math! These are private sports corporations, and they're not required to publish their per player costs personnel, only and ONLY and unless they receive federal funds. For example, while UCLA (a public supported university) has to reveal their cost/salaries of coaches, faculty, etc., while USC a private university does not. Why? Because UCLA receives federal funds in many areas (read this Title IX, etc) while USC does not (except when they get megabucks for research, etc. but not for coaches, etc.) So I close, with WHO CARES!!! Meantime, PLAY ON, and MUCHSIMA SUERTE, GIO, OMAR, and everyone else.

  6. Ric Fonseca, August 5, 2015 at 5:27 p.m.

    P.S. For those of you interested about TITILE IX, go to the US Dept of Education site, surf the page for Title IX, then the University/college in question. One will then can see how much money is taken in by ALL NCAA Div I, II, III, programs and how much they spend overall by sport, men and women's teams. And if you want to further investigate, public funded universities cost are listed through the IRS, under 501(c)(3) - and this goes for most state-youth clubs and leagues.

  7. Doug Wiggins, August 6, 2015 at 8:16 p.m.

    Thank you Senor Fonseca for putting the whole thing in perspective, professional sports-wise. We really should not care what sports figures are getting paid in a free-market society, especially in light of the fact that the AVERAGE CEO compensation package for 2014 was $16.3 Million. Then you have such amazing talent as Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO making $84.3M /yr and Walmart CEO, Douglas McMillion, making (at the low-end) $25.6 M /yr!As far as sports go, as long as a team can stay in business (unlike our beloved Chivas USA!)let them pay the athletes whatever they want!

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