This Is The Los Angeles Galaxy: Juninho

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IJuly 6, 2010

KANSAS CITY, KS - APRIL 24:  Juninho #19 of the Los Angeles Galaxy paces the ball on the attack against the Kansas City Wizards during their MLS match on April 24, 2010 at Community America Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The Galaxy and Wizards played to a 0-0 draw. (Photo by G.Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

This is Part 20 in a series of articles on the players that make up the 2010 Los Angeles Galaxy.

In football, the word "Juninho" is a common nickname for footballers whose full name includes Júnior.

There's Juninho Fonseca, who played for Ponte Preta & Corinthians and Brazil at the 1982 World Cup. There's Juninho Paulista, the famous of all the Juninhos, who played for São Paulo, Middlesbrough, Atletico Madrid, Sydney FC and Brazil at the 2002 World Cup.

There's Juninho Pernambucano, who donned the strip of Vasco da Gama, Olympique Lyonnais and the Seleçao at the 2006 World Cup.

And then there's the Juninho who Dan Loney of BigSoccer.com anoints with the epithet of Juninho Carsonista. His real name is Vitor Gomes Pereira Junior, and he dons the strip of the Los Angeles Galaxy, on loan from Sao Paulo FC.

Already Juninho has made an impact for Bruce Arena's club, with two goals in as many matches. His scoring touch and striking ability may still be a work in progress, but the contributions he will make to the team will be a key cog in LA's MLS Cup quest machine.

Vitor Gomes Pereira Junior, who also goes under the name of Vitor Junior, was born in São José dos Campos on January 5, 1989. A sister city of Toulouse, France, São José dos Campos is a municipality located 80 kilometers from São Paulo and 320 kilometers away from Rio de Janeiro.

Many fairs, festivals and expositions are held throughout the year in São José dos Campos, and it is also a popular shopping destination.

A famous face to come out of São José dos Campos is José Vítor Roque Jr. a.k.a. Roque Júnior, who played for Brazil from 1999-2005 and was a fixture for Palmeiras from 1995-2000. The major football club in the city, São José Esporte Clube, competes in the Campeonato Paulista A2, and finished sixth last season.

Juninho began his career with São Paulo's youth side, which also featured the Galaxy's Alex Cazumba and Leonardo. Together, they helped São Paulo earn the U-17 Paulista Championship in 2006. Juninho only made one appearance for the starting XI of São Paulo in 2007 before being loaned out.

In 2009, he was loaned out to Toledo Colonia Work before he was loaned to the Los Angeles Galaxy. He made his debut on March 27, 2010 against the New England Revolution.

Just over three months later, Juninho got his first goal of his career as a professional. In the third round of the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, he scored the second goal in the Galaxy's 2-0 victory over A.C. St. Louis.

It only got better. On Independence Day, as Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle returned to the fold, Juninho's first touch culminated in a lightning strike past Kasey Keller of the Seattle Sounders FC in LA's 3-1 victory.

There is such a thing as blistering Brazilliance. And while Juninho is not on pace to come close, let alone equal, the more famous Juninho in our lifetime, he is making his own niche as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Here's to you, Juninho Carsonista.


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