Mexican National Team Head Coach, Juan Carlos Osorio, has named Jonathan and Giovani dos Santos to his 2018 FIFA World Cup 23-man roster for the upcoming tournament hosted by Russia.
Mexico will play at least three matches (the group stage) once the tournament kicks off, and will play one friendly against Denmark (June 9, 12 p.m. PT; Brøndbyvester, Denmark) before traveling to Russia.
That means the dos Santos brothers, who have already missed games against FC Dallas (3-2 loss on May 30) and the Portland Timbers (1-1 draw on June 2), will for sure miss the June 9 matchup with Real Salt Lake. But outside of that game — and the previous two they’ve missed– the Galaxy may be relatively unharmed by their absence.
The Galaxy will enter a World Cup break after their game against Salt Lake, and won’t play another league match until June 30 — although Lamar Hunt US Open Cup games could fall on or around June 20 should the club progress out of their fourth-round matchup against FC Golden State Force on Wednesday, June 6.
Mexico, in the group stage, is scheduled to play against Germany (Sunday, June 17, 8 a.m. PT), South Korea (Saturday, June 23, 8 a.m. PT), and finally Sweden (Wednesday, June 27, 7 a.m. PT). Their success in those games will dictate whether or not they’ll continue on into the round of 16 for the tournament.
Giovani dos Santos, 29, has played less than 26-percent of the Galaxy’s available minutes so far in 2018 (326 minutes of 1,260 total minutes) — appearing in six games and starting just four. Some of his absences are due to injury, while others for international call-ups, but with just two goals and one assist on the season, he’s been far from a staple within the Galaxy’s lineup.
But he has been a staple for Mexico. Playing in over 100 national team games and is a veteran of two previous World Cups (2010, 2014). In his time with the team, he’s scored 19 goals for El Tri and recorded 23 assists.
Jonathan dos Santos, 28, will be entering his first World Cup with the Mexican National team since making his debut in 2009. He has 36 appearances with three assists in his senior team career.
And while Jonathan dos Santos hasn’t had the same run with the national team as his brother, he has fared slightly better with the Galaxy this season playing in just shy of 50-percent of the Galaxy’s available minutes.
He has also appeared in eight games while starting seven and has amassed 622 minutes in the 2018 campaign with one goal and one assist. But, much like his brother Giovani, has struggled with injuries and has missed club games due to international duty.
Together, the brothers constitute two-thirds of the Galaxy’s designated player group (Romain Alessandrini is the other) and over 45-percent of the club’s total salary ($17,502,008.30) — Giovani dos Santos makes $6-million in guaranteed salary per year, while Jonathan dos Santos makes $2-million per year.
Both players are expected to be on contracts that run through the 2019 season with Galaxy. And with recent rumors having the Galaxy shopping the two for a possible transfer after the World Cup, their performances will be under a worldwide microscope.
But even if the rumors are false, it’s likely the Galaxy are hopeful that any uptick in form and/or health could be carried back to the club following the conclusion of the tournament.