LA Galaxy star Giovani dos Santos had a tremendous 2016 MLS campaign, scoring 14 goals and dishing out 12 assists. He was one of three players in the entire league to average double-digit goals and assists.
This season, dos Santos was expected to pick up where he left off but unfortunately, his production has been far from expectation. He has appeared in four of the five matches with only one score to his name, but head coach Curt Onalfo says his production will come soon enough according to Adam Serrano of LA Galaxy:
“He made great runs [on Friday]. He didn’t necessarily get rewarded but he created space or other players, and that’s all part of it,” Onalfo said. “He needs just to keep doing what he’s doing, and the goals and assists will come. I’m really pleased with where he’s at and where he’s headed.
“The best players you have to find them the ball early. He makes intelligent runs that are decoy runs as well. What will happen as we build on consistency and a consistent lineup, all the understanding, and rhythm will come out. That’s when he’s going to find even more moments and can translate that into goals and assists. He’s working really hard. …He looks sharper and sharper each day. I have tons of confidence in him.”
To Onalfo’s point, Los Angeles has not fielded their starting unit at all this season. The Galaxy played without Gyasi Zardes in the beginning, Sebastian Lletget will be out for a considerable amount of time, and even dos Santos missed a match due to injury.
The club will need time to build up chemistry and develop an understanding. Dos Santos has looked spry since returning from injury while his teammates Romain Alessandrini and Ema Boateng have been carrying the offensive load.
Once dos Santos and Zardes return to full fitness, it will only be a matter of time before the Galaxy’s attack synchronizes. Dos Santos will have to be the focal point of the offense if this team will challenge for a sixth MLS Cup.