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Galaxy fires Lalas, Ruud Gullit resigns

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In a stunning, though not completely surprising turn of events at the Los Angeles Galaxy, both Ruud Gullit head coach and team president Alexi Lalas are looking for new jobs.

The Galaxy fired Lalas on Monday, the same day Gullit resigned as head coach. Tom Payne takes over as the Galaxy’s president while long-time Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones takes over as interim head coach in the midst of his first season as an assistant after retiring last season.

A seven-match winless streak provided the final straw for Galaxy ownership, which saw one of the league’s most high-profile clubs fall in danger of missing the playoffs for a third straight season.

When I asked the question a week ago about whose head would roll in Los Angeles, I imagined a scenario that might see both men leave the Galaxy, but to see LA actually set these events in motion this quickly shows that AEG was as angry with the situation as rumors were suggesting.

I questioned Gullit’s hiring from the door, remembering all the high-profile coaches who struggled and eventually failed in MLS.

As for Lalas, it appears the third time was the charm for a man who’d struggled at running three different clubs (San Jose, New York and Los Angeles). Ever the showman, Lalas had the charisma, charm and soccer-playing resume to be a leader, but his actually leadership of teams proved detrimental everywhere he went. Anschutz Entertainment Group gave Lalas every one of his opportunities, but finally cut ties after several failed experiments.

What do you think of the news? Shocked? Happy? Sad? Think it’s about time?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Great to see that it was a loss to Frank Yallop and the Quakes that may have finally gotten Lalas canned. Karma’s a bitch, eh Alexi? It’ll be hard to dislike the LAG with Cobi and Paul Bravo in charge, but I’m sure that sooner or later AEG will hire someone just as irrititating, loud-mouthed, and incompetent. Hugo Sanchez anyone?

  2. YES!!!!!!!

    I have waited for this day for a long time. Lalas is finally gone! No way another team hires him as a GM, but he could join that Extra Time show with his brother so they can have 3 idiots who don’t know anything about soccer on it. Good riddance, Red!

    Sad to see Gullit go. I thought he did a decent job considering the geriatric roster and lack of talent. Would have liked to have seen him finish out the year. Nice to see Cobi get a shot, though.

    Still think the man who can save the Galaxy is Paul Mariner.

  3. As an O.G. Galaxy fan, I have never been happier that my GM and coach have been fired. The circus is officially winding down.

    Back to the game!!!

  4. Lalas is finally getting his just desserts. Somewhere Bob Bradley and Frank Yallop are as giddy of little girls over the departure of the Ginger man…

  5. as a quakes fan , i like to think we put the final nail in the coffin 2 wks. ago. sure is fun to watch the meltdown!

  6. Re: Gullit, my first thought was Eddie Firmani redux – high profile coach who quit in their first year. Eddie, MetroStars first coach, didn’t know what he was getting into because it was a brand new league. If Gullit didn’t know it’s because he didn’t do his homework.

    RE: Lalas, didn’t care for him much as a GM especially after he destroyed the Metros and then bailed for LA. At least he has his music career to fall back on.

  7. Abel Xavie as player-coach?

    Ruud was/is a joke. Dude had a meltdown as Chelsea manager, more proof that great players do not always make great managers.

    Lalas? Abotu freaking time he got sacked. 0 for 3 on ruining franchises. Maybe he and little brother Greg can run New England into the toilet.

  8. Wonder how large a role Beckham played in this decision? How on earth is LA ever going to be competitive every week with the current salary cap limitations? This may be the first of many significant developments for not only LA, but MLS.

  9. Well, they’re still going to suck. THey need to can Ruiz, Klein, Vanney, Vagenas, Gordon, and Cronin too. Too bad Cobi has to get his start this way. What a train wreck. THis franchise will have to be completely demolished before it can be rebuilt.

  10. Galaxy have been in Groundhog Day since 2004. However, I actually think these moves give them a better shot at making the playoffs. Gullit lost the locker room some time ago.

    A lot is riding on Thursday’s game for Cobi Jones. A win, and he may stay the head coach for the balance of 2008 – a loss, and you may see Bruce Arena hired this time next week.

  11. I guess Ruud Gullit’s decision was made a while back with his house up for sale (his tenor has been so brief that it is difficult to evaluate). The players seemed to be supportive of him.

    As for Alexi Lalas, I hope he finds some position within soccer in the US promoting the support in some capacity. Good luck Alexi!!!

  12. I’m definitely not shocked, but I’m not really happy. I’d much rather see L.A. subjected to the same rules as all other MLS clubs than see this happen (not that it’s my choice).

    In a way I am glad, in that even with MLS doing its best to hand them a championship they still can’t cut it. Now the only thing I’m worried about is the league re-allocating the best player from each other team to the Galaxy.

  13. Finally!!!!! Us Galaxy fans (and all MLS fans) can sleep a little easier knowing that Lalas is no longer a threat to our team(s).

  14. Let the fire sale begin! I guarantee you Galaxy will clear the decks and try and get out from under some of the dead weight they are carrying.

    Ruiz??? Gone…..Colorado or TFC

    Landycakes??? Gone to Europe I pray

    And a lot of the dreck they call a defense needs to get shown the door.

  15. I don’t think its a shock that Gullit is gone, he seems to have found MLS confusing on several fronts. You read about him questioning the draft, reserve league and the hoops you have to jump through to sign players, and it seems only a matter of time before he bailed. What confuses me is why he took the job in the first place if he had issue with these things? Did he not do any type of research to understand what he was getting himself into? I doubt LA will be crying over his departure, especially if they can get out from under his contract. It just seemed to be such an odd fit in the first place. So the question is does AEG continue to attempt to make a splash and hire another “big” name, or go with someone who already has a grasp on the league. If its the former, who from Beckhams past is available? If its the latter, I would like to see Paul Mariner given a shot, if for no other reason than to weaken NE.

  16. Cobi will turn the ship around and be the Coach for years to come. If anyone bleeds LAG, its Cobi. I love that guy, and I hate LAG.

    Cobi, good luck, and I hope you make it perminant.

    BTW- Ruud will definately be rude about MLS and the Galaxy.

  17. Wow!

    Now all that needs to happen is for Donovan to go to Europe, and Beckham to “retire.”

    Then the Galaxy will have completely imploded!!!

  18. i can’t wait to get a good laugh when the next club picks up lalas as their gm, I’m having a hard time thinking of who would be that stupid, but there has got to be one team out there.

  19. Off topic, but I am just amazed at how much disrespect Peter Vagenas gets from the fans. The guy has served your team for 8 years! Give the guy a break.

    I got to wonder if Bruce Arena is in the cards now

  20. Alexi Lalas = Isaiah Thomas. I have no idea how either of them continue to find work.

    @THE Nick – I don’t see Lalas any less pompous or arrogant than Wynalda, so I’m not sure the media is a good idea.

    Unemployment is probably the best job for Alexi.

  21. Honestly though… he did about as bad of a job as Dooley had been doing in SJ until recently. His problems were just magnified by the stage he plays on.

    I cannot stand the guy, but I think he was a puppet for the execs in many regards. Vanney/Xavier were atrocious and he could’ve easily found some bargains, but chose to avoid them. At least they drafted Franklin, picked up Gibbs, still have G’Balls, LD, and the Buddle acquisition finally paid off.

    Lose Vagenas and find some cheaper USL-1/Central American talent.

  22. WOW. Lalas was pretty terrible as a GM but Gullit was doing a very good job with the talent he had this year. It’s a shame to see such a quality coach most likely leave MLS.


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