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El Paisano

MLS: Jona dos Santos Captains Galaxy to Victory

Ignacio Cervantes, Sports Editor

The Los Angeles Galaxy won its second game of 2019 Saturday by defeating Minnesota United Football Club 3-2 at Dignity Health Sports Park. In the thick of things was Jonathan dos Santos who captained the Galaxy for the second consecutive game as regular skipper Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues to sit out because of an Achilles injury.

A Leader is Born

Anchoring the Galaxy’s midfield, dos Santos’ commandeering act helped Los Angeles stay perfect at home to start the season. His converted penalty in the 36th minute gave the home side a one goal lead. Dos Santos was also tops in the passing column with 87. Meanwhile, his 103 touches on the ball were bettered only by the 106 Sebastian Lletget had.

“Yeah no he was fantastic,” Lletget said in the dressing room when asked about what he thought of dos Santos’ game. “He’s such a great player and such a good leader for us today he was playing that no. 6 role and he gets the ball in difficult areas and starts the attack for us.”

Jonathan began the 2019 season concerned over the future of brother, and then teammate, Giovani as the Mexican internationals looked likely to be broken up following the release of Giovani March 1 through a buyout of his contract. Before releasing Gio, the Galaxy roster featured four designated players – one too many per Major League Soccer rules.

Following the departure of Gio, Jonathan, who goes by Jona, has now been left with the responsibility of lifting Major League Soccer’s most successful club in history back into title challengers. Saturday was a step in the right direction.

The Newest Dream

The dream of MLS glory with his brother Gio may not come to fruition, but Jona’s goal of winning this league remains. Midfielder Joe Corona and forward Uriel Antuna were brought on to help the cause in LA and clear improvements on the pitch following more and more training with head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto really enhances the expectations this club can reach and go beyond once injured forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes back into the squad.

For now, the fluidity between the likes of Lletget, Corona, Antuna, and dos Santos will be expected to continue to flourish. As for the armband on Jona’s bicep, “Yeah he’s the captain. Today he was a leader.” Schelotto said in English before commenting in Spanish that, “Hoy vi un gran jugador,” “Today I saw a great player.”

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MLS: Jona dos Santos Captains Galaxy to Victory