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There have been good players in their prime to come to Major League Soccer, and quite a few solid Mexican players, but Giovani dos Santos is the league's Holy Grail -- a genuine El Tri star in the prime of his career. And on Wednesday, LA Galaxy signed him.
The deal was made possible due to something called Targeted Allocation Money, which was negotiated in the new CBA and announced last week. It was a pretty brilliant mechanism that allowed MLS to sign great players, stick it to cheap owners and cry poverty to the rank-and-file all at the same time. LA used TAM to convert Omar Gonzalez from a Designated Player into a non-DP, opening up a DP slot to sign dos Santos.
When Toronto FC signed Sebastian Giovinco in the offseason, it looked like a major coup, but it's possible that signings like Gio and ... Gio ... could become the norm. There won't be a $7 million per year mid-20s superstar on every team, but MLS is now a league that can attract and pay these guys. This isn't just a retirement league anymore.
In the news
Atletico Madrid have signed striker Jackson Martinez. (Atletico Madrid)
Bayer Leverkusen captured super prodigy center back Jonathan Tah. (Bayer Leverkusen)
Ronald Koeman has been reunited with his former Feyenoord player Jordie Clasie. (Southampton)
Sunderland have signed up Jeremain Lens. (Sunderland)
Blackpool canceled a friendly for "security reasons", which translates to "not wanting more bad PR". (BBC)
Brendan Rodgers says he won't sign a replacement for Raheem Sterling ... probably because he already did that. (Guardian)
Chicharito will get a shot at Manchester United this season. (ESPN FC)
You should be reading
Ryan Rosenblatt on Miguel Herrera's totally unpredictable future. (Soccer Gods)
Alex Stewart on the Homeless FA and their preparation for the Homeless World Cup. (The Set Pieces)
Mike Goodman on the difference in perception between the Raheem Sterling and Morgan Schneiderlin deals. (Grantland)
Fun with transfer rumors
The section in which nothing should be taken seriously. It's rumor season, so this section will be expanded, and as the summer rolls on, it will probably be bigger than the actual news section.
Real Madrid are signing up Kiko Casilla as a David De Gea insurance policy. (AS)
Juventus have, predictably, rejected Napoli's bid for star defender Daniele Rugani. (Football Italia)
Despite some reports that Manchester United are in the lead, Liverpool appear close to signing Christian Benteke. (ESPN FC)
PSG are confident of adding Angel Di Maria, despite Louis Van Gaal saying it's possible he'll have a place at Old Trafford. (Mail)
Spurs are trying to offload Roberto Soldado on Sevilla. (Mirror)
Mexico vs. T&T was pants-on-head crazy. Go watch the last two goals.
Cuba beat Guatemala to progress in Gold Cup.
Tigres are alive in Copa Lib after snagging an away goal in Brazil. (ESPN FC)
Sorry, no soccer worth watching on Thursday!