Sunday, January 16 2022
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos in action against the Seattle Sounders.
Midfielder Jonathan dos Santos will not return to the Galaxy in 2022 after spending the last 4½ seasons with the club. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

The Galaxy are parting ways with captain Jonathan dos Santos after 4½ seasons. The Mexican international’s contract expired this fall and the team confirmed Monday it will not offer him a new one.

“We appreciate Jonathan, everything that he’s put into the club and how much that this club is in his heart,” said Chris Klein, the team president. “But we just felt that it was it was time to move on.”

Dos Santos, 31, a Mexico World Cup veteran, began his career in Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy, alongside older brother Giovani, when he was 12. He was reunited with Gio on the Galaxy midway through the 2017 season, when he joined the team from Villarreal of Spain’s La Liga.

He scored five goals and had 12 assists in his first 2 ½ seasons but injuries limited his playing time the last two years, when he missed nearly a third of the Galaxy’s 56 games. The team needed more than that from its second-highest-paid player, who made $2 million last season, so Dos Santos’ departure was not a surprise since it only frees up that salary, but it opens up a designated-play spot for coach Greg Vanney as well.

“That designated player spot is something that is certainly important to Greg and it was always important for kind of the next stage of the team,” Klein said.

Vanney brought in 16 new players this season, his first as Galaxy coach.

During his time with the Galaxy, Dos Santos proved a popular teammate, one reason he was given the captain’s armband. He also studied English with a tutor and began doing interviews in that language this year and has talked about remaining in Southern California when his playing career is over.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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