LA Galaxy Sign João Pedro: LA Galaxy Central Midfield Taking Shape

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Benfica's Argentinian forward Franco Cervi (R) in action with Vitoria SC's Portugues midfielder Joao Pedro (L) during the Premier League 2016/17 match between Vitoria SC and SL Benfica, at Dao Afonso Henriques Stadium in Guimaraes on January 7, 2017. (Photo by Paulo Oliveira / DPI / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

CARSON, CA (January 20, 2017) – The LA Galaxy central midfield finally has names and depth to it. The club has signed Portuguese midfielder João Pedro Almeida Machado, known as João Pedro. Pedro comes from Vitória Guimarães in the Portugal first division. The center midfielder has begun taking shape.

LA Galaxy Sign João Pedro: LA Galaxy Central Midfield Taking Shape

Pedro is a 23-years-old and primarily a central midfielder. He has been a holding midfielder at times. It’s unclear which role he’ll play specifically with the LA Galaxy. That will depend on what Head Coach Curt Onalfo sees as the best fit for him and a potential partnership with Jermaine Jones.

General Manager Peter Vagenas spoke very highly of him: “He is only 23 years old and has the best years of his career front of him. We identified him as a top target this offseason and we think he can immediately help strengthen our midfield. We look forward to welcoming João to Los Angeles as we continue to prepare for the upcoming season.”

There isn’t a good metric for comparing MLS to the Liga Primeira simply because not that many players have come from that league to MLS. Aurélien Collin played in Portugal before coming to Sporting KC, but that was back in 2011.

It’s unclear just how good Pedro is or how well he’ll adjust to MLS. He seems to be a decent passer and can shoot from long range. On the positive side, he’s young and he fills the exact position the Galaxy need right now.

If he and Jones can build some continuity as central midfielders, the Galaxy will be in good shape.

Transaction: LA Galaxy sign Portuguese midfielder João Pedro as an International from Vitória Guimarães

Name: João Pedro
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-9
Weight: 154 lbs.
Born: April 3, 1993
Age: 23
Hometown: Guimarães, Portugal
Last Club: Vitória Guimarães
Citizenship: Portugal

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