LOS ANGELES – Two spotlights focused on a head table lit up Jonathan dos Santos’ face inside a large, dim ballroom.
The L.A. Galaxy midfielder was the first of 28 Major League Soccer players who entered the room Saturday for a media round table at a Hilton in Universal City, Calif.
What was the Galaxy missing last year? How are you improving during the offseason? What did you learn from your first year in MLS?
The questions came one by one.
“I think last year was maybe complicated from the coaching switch, and the team wasn’t stable,” dos Santos, brother of teammate Giovani dos Santos, said through a translator. “But I think with … great signings during the offseason, the team is forming really well. I know that this year will be a great one for us. The president of the Galaxy and technical staff is working very hard to make sure we have a team that can compete this year.
“This year should be an important year for us. I came here to make history and enjoy this with my brother and our fans in Los Angeles.”
The Galaxy signed the Mexican national team midfielder as a designated player from Spain’s Villarreal CF in July. He notched a goal and assist in 12 appearances with the team in 2017.
He continued to express gratitude for having his brother and family in the same city. He’ll also have Mexico teammate Carlos Vela in Los Angeles this year. 2018 expansion team Los Angeles FC signed the 28-year-old Vela as a designated player in August.
“I told him to have good luck in life but not in soccer,” dos Santos said laughing. “He asked how the league was and I told him it surprised me in every aspect. We’re friends, so to live in the same city is a dream come true. We’ll be rivals on the field, but we’re happy to have him.”
Before leaving the room, dos Santos touched on Mexico’s World Cup campaign, saying he believes Mexico has the right mentality to do well this summer.