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The Galaxy have added help at two key positions, acquiring Colombian winger Yony González on loan from Portuguese club Benfica and signing free-agent goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann, son of former U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Contract terms were not released by the Galaxy. González was signed using targeted allocation money, meaning his annual salary is in excess of $612,500, the maximum budget charge permitted under the MLS salary cap.
González, 26, played his last full season for Fluminense of Brazil’s Serie A in 2019, scoring six goals and assisting on two others in 34 league starts. He moved to Brazilian club Corinthians in February on another one-year loan with an option to buy that would have kicked in after five games. But he made just five appearances before the Brazilian season was suspended by the COVID-19 outbreak and was returned to Benfica, opening the door for the Galaxy to acquire him.
According to Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese, González remains in Brazil awaiting a visa appointment. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump in May suspended entry of any foreign national who had been physically present in Brazil for 14 days before their arrival in the U.S. although there are exemptions to that ban.
With more than 3.4 million cases and 110,000 deaths, Brazil trails only the U.S. in infections and fatalities linked to COVID-19, which will certainly complicate González’s move to MLS. However Te Kloese remains hopeful González will be available during the Galaxy’s initial six-game season restart, which begins Saturday against LAFC at Banc of California Stadium.
With two points after five games, the Galaxy (0-3-2) are off to the worst start in the team’s 25-year history.
“Yony is a dynamic playmaker who we believe can strengthen our attack this year,” Te Kloese said in a statement. “He possesses a diverse skill set.”
When he arrives and is cleared to play, González is expected to start on the right wing, replacing Aleksandar Katai, released by the team in June after his wife made a series of offensive and racist posts on social media.
In addition to his time with Fluminense, Corinthians and Benfica, González also played for Envigado and Atlético Junior in Colombia and with Colombia’s U-23 national team.
The signing of Klinsmann, who made 32 appearances for U.S. age-group teams and was called in camp by the senior national team two years ago, is intended to strengthen a defense that has allowed 11 scores and has an MLS-high minus-6 goal differential through five games.
Klinsmann, 23, played at Mater Dei High and UC Berkeley before signing his first professional contract with Hertha Berlin in 2017, making his debut in a Europa League match that December. He made 24 appearances for Hertha Berlin II in the fourth tier of German soccer but never played in the Bundesliga. He was most recently with FC St. Gallen of the Swiss Super League, which allowed him to leave as a free agent after a season in which he didn’t play.
Jurgen Klinsmann, a World Cup star as a player for Germany, had a short stint coaching at Hertha Berlin last season following turns managing both the German and U.S. national teams in World Cups. He was fired as U.S. coach two games into qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
MLS veteran David Bingham is the Galaxy’s first-choice keeper. The younger Klinsmann will likely compete with Justin Vom Steeg and Eric Lopez for the second spot on the roster.