LA Galaxy Land Portuguese Midfielder João Pedro (Almeida Machado)

In an offseason filled with players leaving, the LA Galaxy have officially signed their first surprise signing of 2017. Portuguese Midfielder João Pedro is on his way to Los Angeles from Vitória Guimarães SC, where he’s played in 19 games across all competitions.

Pedro is 23-years old and plays in central midfield. The Galaxy may use him primarily as a defensive midfielder, and someone who can play with both Jermaine Jones and, Sebastian Lletget.

“We knew, that with the players departing, we needed a number six. We needed a guy that could play in the middle — play with Jermaine (Jones), possibly play with Sebastian Lletget — that could give us the youthful energy that we need,” LA Galaxy President Chris Klein told Corner of the Galaxy. “He fit the mold. And he fit the mold at a price point and age that made him very attractive to us. We couldn’t be more excited about what he’s going to bring to the club.”

Klein was quick to point out that locating João Pedro was a long and exhausting task that fell to new General Manager, Peter Vagenas and Technical Director, Jovan Kirovski.

“We’ve continuously ramped up our scouting system… And Pete, and his group, and Jovan Kirovski have spent an incredible amount of time away from here scouting and talking and looking for players.”

At just 23-years old, Pedro will be part of the youth movement the Galaxy are attempting to implement this year. Pairing him with the older legs of Jermaine Jones in the center of the park may be a way to limit the exposure and increase the athleticism in that area.

LA Galaxy General Manager said “João is an extremely talented midfielder who has experience playing at a high level in Portugal… He is only 23-years old and has the best years of his career in front of him. We identified him as a top target this offseason and we think he can immediately help strengthen our midfield.”

In researching João Pedro, I ran across a tweet from Tiago Estêvão where he describes Pedro as “… finally having his breakthrough season at 23, after spending his last few season as a consistent piece of Vitoria’s B-side.” He goes on to say that Pedro has the most tackles when compare to his midfield partner and that his technique is sharp.

And we’re sure to get much more information on him as soon as the preseason begins. The LA Galaxy will report to camp on January 23rd ahead of their March 4th season opener with FC Dallas.