The Los Angeles Galaxy overcame a poor start to rally back and secure a 4-1 ML season-opening victory over DC United at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., on Sunday.

Galaxy Open With Big 4-1 Win Over DC United, But Questions Remain About Giovani dos Santos

One particular Galaxy player whose productivity was not discussed nearly as much earlier, though is now beginning to draw attention, is that of team’s youngest superstar, Mexican player Giovani dos Santos, who signed with the Galaxy in July 2015.

Dos Santos, 26, began 2016 with much to prove to both the Galaxy and to new Mexican national team coach Juan Carlos Osorio, but Sunday’s game only proved that, not only is dos Santos not a strong asset for the Galaxy, but the team may actually be better off without him.

The midfielder (and occasional forward) left Sunday’s match at halftime with what the team described as undisclosed leg injury. In his 45 minutes of play, he offered little offensively and nothing defensively. He also did not manage to register a single dribble or shot. Mike Magee replaced him and single-handedly revived the Galaxy by scoring two goals, setting up another and drawing a penalty kick. Magee appeared to show his best form since his MLS MVP season in 2013, a year followed up by two injury-riddled seasons that led him to become an undesirable player in the MLS when he became eligible for free agency last winter.


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Dos Santos also failed to make a significant impact during the Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League series loss to Mexican club Santos Laguna. In Sunday’s game, however, he wasn’t the only one who appeared to be playing terribly. Steven Gerrard, 35, also contributed very little. In fact, it was his turnover, and slow reaction afterward, that caused the counterstrike that eventually led to Lamar Neagle’s opening goal for United.

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena could have taken off both players at half-time, but a move like this one probably would not have gone over well with the club’s management, which is currently paying more than $10 million in salary on the two players. Starting goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was also forced to leave the game in the first half due to an undisclosed injury.

Dos Santos’ performance thus begs the question: Is it still worth it for the Galaxy to keep him on the roster? If he’s not scoring or even making any powerful plays to set up goals, especially at his price tag, the answer is probably no: the team will likely need to find a bidder to take him away this summer. Dos Santos has also been rumored to be a big partier, something that came to a head recently after Santos Laguna goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin apologized to dos Santos for calling him a drunk.

Gerrard, on the other hand, is nearing the end of his career, and it’s not as if the Galaxy can sell him. Magee, 31, who arrived to the MLS as an 18-year-old, is still a strong attacker who can produce goals, despite his lack of significant speed.

At this point, one thing remains clear: if dos Santos does not improve his game, the Galaxy will be forced to not only bench him, which will eventually lead to his dismissal from the team, as the Galaxy will look to fill a void that has existed ever since star Landon Donovan retired from the game.

CARSON, CA – MARCH 06: Steven Gerrard #8 of Los Angeles Galaxy and Bobby Boswell #32 of D.C. United vie for the ball during the second half of their MLS match at StubHub Center on March 6, 2016 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated United 4-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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