The strong are getting stronger in MLS as the LA Galaxy have secured the services of Juninho for the 2012 season. The defending MLS Cup champions thought they were going to lose the midfielder after Sao Paulo wanted him back after two one-year loans with the Galaxy in 2010 and 2011, but Juninho apparently failed to impress with the Brazilian club and he will now return to Los Angeles for the 2012 season on another one-year loan.
Juninho was one of the most underrated players in the league the last two years, doing much of the dirty work in the midfield so David Beckham was free to roam and spray the ball around the field. LA had moved to replace Juninho earlier in the offseason by signing Marcelo Sarvas and now that Juninho is returning, Bruce Arena will have plenty of options in the midfield.
With Juninho returning, the Galaxy are now uber favorites to defend their MLS Cup title in 2012. The signing of Edson Buddle last week to pair with Robbie Keane up top already made them favorites, but now there is no doubt. It won't be easy for the Galaxy though, even with their additions. Omar Gonzalez will miss most, if not all, of the season with a torn ACL and they will have to deal with the expectations and extra matches from MLS, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League.