‘MLS Soccer Show’ Who’s Who: Los Angeles Galaxy’s Douglas Costa

On this week’s MLS Soccer Show’s “Who’s Who” segment, we look at LA Galaxy winger Douglas Costa. In the video above, we take a deep dive into Costa’s European career, talk about what made them great before they got to the U.S., and which young MLS prospect most resembles the talented winger in his prime.

Who is LA Galaxy winger Douglas Costa? 

Douglas Costa de Souza, better known as simply Douglas Costa, hails from Sapucaia do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. As a young boy, Costa started his football career at Grêmio, his home-state club. 

At 19, Costa made a move to the Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk. In Eastern Europe, he joined a host of other talented Brazilian prospects on the squad, such as Fernandinho, Willian, Luiz Adriano, and Fred. Other international stars like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Darijo Srna played on these loaded Ukrainian teams. 

After 203 appearances, 38 goals, and 40 assists, Bayern Munich splashed the biggest transfer fee in club history at the time ($33 million) to bring Costa in for the 2015-16 season. 

Under legendary manager Pep Guardiola, Costa replaced Xherdan Shaqiri and flourished in Germany. In 43 appearances, Costa scored seven times and added 18 assists. 

Unfortunately for Costa, Guardiola left after his first season in Munich, and Carlos Ancelotti took over. The Italian manager preferred French veteran Franck Ribery to Costa. Costa still got 34 caps and scored seven goals with nine assists, even with a diminished role. 

A loan spell to Juventus followed by a $44 million move to the Italian club came next. The winger played well in his time in Turin, getting on the pitch 103 times while adding 10 goals and 21 assists to his resume. 

In 2020, Costa went on loan the other way, with Juve loaning him back to Bayern for a season. Then, his Italian club loaned him to his boyhood club of Grêmio. 

Despite the loan back home — which usually signals the end of a career — at 31, Juventus loaned him to the LA Galaxy, with the MLS club agreeing to sign him to an 18-month deal when the loan ends.  

Which young MLS star most resembles Douglas Costa?

Douglas Costa is a slick, speedy, diminutive winger who excels at playmaking but can also score a goal from deep with his booming left leg as well. He’s also versatile enough to play centrally and loves tracking back to help on the defensive side of the pitch, too. 

Costa lost his place in teams at times due to fit or falling out of form for long stretches, but when he was on, there were few wingers defenses feared more.  

Of the young MLS wingers today, five have the potential to develop into Douglas-type attackers. Here’s the tale of the tape on the candidates. 

PlayerCountryMLS TeamAgeHeightWeightGamesGoalsAssists
Talles MagnoBrazilNYCFC196-foot-1154 lbs.3474
Facundo TorresUruguayOrlando City225-foot-10157 lbs.1222
Alan VelascoArgentinaFC Dallas195-foot-6139 lbs.1022
Kevin CabralFranceLA Galaxy225-foot-10152 lbs.3964
Jairo TorresMexicoChicago Fire215-foot-6147 lbs.000

Which of these young MLS talents is closest to Douglas Costa in his prime? Check out the video above to find out who we decide.

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Stats and transfer fees courtesy of Transfermrkt

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