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?
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