Dos Santos’ Good Form for Galaxy Could Benefit Mexico
By Alex Baker
LOS ANGELES – It’s taken a little while to get him going, but Giovani Dos Santos at last seems to be showing signs of living up to his potential to be the best player in Major League Soccer. The LA Galaxy forward has scored four goals in five appearances this season, including the equalizer in last weekend’s 1-1 draw away at Sporting Kansas City.
Part of Dos Santos’ uptick in form may be due to a shift in position. After being deployed on the wing or in a deeper attacking role in the latter half of last season and in the early stages of this one, the Mexican international has deputized as striker in the absence of Robbie Keane, who’s recovering from knee surgery.
Dos Santos, who is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, has had a career that’s been somewhat undermined by injuries and inconsistency. Despite a European soccer pedigree that in addition to Barça, includes Tottenham Hotspur, Galatasaray and Villarreal, there’s a sense that he’s has never quite lived up to the promise of his talents.
But at age 27, Dos Santos is in his prime and has the potential to eclipse Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco as the best player MLS has ever seen. He just needs to maintain his fitness and perhaps more importantly, his focus.
His sparkling form in MLS has already got Dos Santos back on the radar of the Mexican national team. El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio has called him up for his 40-man provisional squad for the upcoming Copa America Centenario.
If Dos Santos can maintain his good form for the Galaxy and ride it into this summer’s Copa, he might get another shot at becoming the sort of player he seemed on the verge of being the last time he competed in a major tournament in the U.S.; when he scored a crucial goal in Mexico’s comeback victory against the USA in the Gold Cup final at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in 2011.
(Photos by Bill Barrett and ISI)