April 24, 2024

The Galaxy finally got their man, acquiring Ghanaian winger Joseph Paintsil on a transfer from Genk of the Belgian Pro League on Wednesday, then signing him to a four-year designated-player contract.

Financial terms of the deal were not released but the transfer fee was about $9 million, the team confirmed. The acquisition comes just three weeks after the Galaxy landed Brazilian winger Gabriel Pec from Vasco da Gama on a club-record $10-million transfer, signing him to a five-year designated-player deal.

The two deals, combined with the reported $1.73-million transfer deal for Japanese outside back Miki Yamane and the signing of free-agent goalkeeper John McCarthy, make this offseason, the first under new general manager Will Kuntz, among the most consequential in the team’s recent history.

“We’re all very happy with what we got done this offseason,” Kuntz said. “Obviously the DPs are the biggest ticket items. It’s a credit to our staff in the front office that we were able to sort of identify the profiles of the guys, the profiles of positions that we were looking to bring in and have some really good names. And not just two names for two slots, but about six or seven names for two slots.”

Pec will be available for selection for Sunday’s season opener against Lionel Messi and Inter Miami at Dignity Health Sports Park, but Kuntz said the Galaxy still have some work to do to get Paintsil’s paperwork in order.

“It’ll be a sprint to get his tourist visa transferred over to a work visa,” he said.

Paintsil, 26, a Ghanaian international, has appeared in 228 games for Genk, Turkish club Ankaragucu and Hungary’s Ferencvarosi since 2018, recording career bests for goals (18) and assists (14) in all competition last season. He has also played 14 times for Ghana’s national team.

With Pec, 23, and Paintsil joining designated player Riqui Puig on the roster, the Galaxy’s three designated player spots are filled through the 2025 season, limiting Kuntz’s roster flexibility over the next two seasons.

“Four years is fairly standard for DPs across the league with this level of significant investment, whether that’s acquisition cost or salary,” Kuntz said. “It’s been important for us to bring players in their prime and who have been successful in other leagues. Those criteria, along with the work our scouting group put in this offseason, lets us feel very confident.”

The Galaxy have made the playoffs just once in three seasons under coach Greg Vanney, going 8-14-12 last season to finish 13th in the 14-team Western Conference standings. Since then the team parted ways with a dozen players including captain Javier “Chicharito” Hernández; midfielder Tyler Boyd, who had a club-high seven goals last season; designated player Douglas Costa; and forward Billy Sharp, whose six goals in 12 games tied for second-most on the team.

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