Monday, August 11, 2008

Galaxy Announce Changes for Head Coach and President/General Manager Positions

As has been reported in various media outlets this morning, the Galaxy have made a pair of changes today, with Ruud Gullit leaving the club for personal reasons and Alexi Lalas having been relieved of his duties as President/General Manager.

Cobi will take the reins as the interim head coach while a search for Ruud's replacement is undertaken.

Here is the official word from the club today...


CARSON, Calif. (Monday, August 11, 2008) – Ruud Gullit, the head coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer (MLS) club, will leave the team for personal reasons it was announced today.

"Both parties have agreed on mutually-agreeable terms to part company,” said Timothy J. Leiweke, President & CEO AEG, investor/operators of the Galaxy. “It is an amicable arrangement and we appreciate and respect the issues that Ruud has highlighted with the club and are very grateful for all the hard work he has contributed while with the organization. Hopefully, he has laid the foundations for future success for the Los Angeles Galaxy."

Gullit, 45, the world-renowned soccer player who was named world player of the year in 1987 and 1989, joined the club in November last year. He commented: "In truth, it has proved a lot more difficult than I anticipated for my family to settle in the area and the club has been very supportive and understanding of my decision. I would like to thank the players and the fans for their fantastic support and I wish the LA Galaxy much success in the future. I would now like to spend some time with my family before considering any other position in football."

Galaxy assistant coach Cobi Jones will serve as the club’s interim head coach while a search for a new head coach is undertaken. He will be assisted by current Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development Trevor James and Goalkeeper Coach Ian Feuer.

Jones, 37, an original member of the Galaxy, is in his first year on the team’s coaching staff. A Los Angeles native, Jones played more than 300 games for the Galaxy during his 12-year MLS career (1996-2007). Before joining the Galaxy, Jones played college soccer at UCLA as well as playing professionally abroad with Coventry City of the English Premier League and Brazilian side Vasco de Gama. Jones was also a member of the U.S. National Team with whom he appeared a record 164 times. He played in three FIFA World Cups for the Red, White and Blue (1994, 1998 and 2002), twice helping his country advance past the tournament’s group stage.

Jones is the Galaxy’s all-time leader in nearly every statistical category, including goals (70), assists (91) and games played (306), making him one of just four MLS players to have appeared in more than 300 games and one of three players to have both 70 goals and 90 assists.

His first game in charge of the Galaxy will come on Thursday, August 14 when the Galaxy take on intra-city rivals Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center in a game that can be seen live on ESPN2 starting at 8 p.m. (PT).

It was also announced that Galaxy President and General Manager Alexi Lalas has been relieved of his duties effective immediately. Lalas joined the team in April 2006 after serving in the same capacity with the New York Red Bulls (formerly MetroStars).

“With Ruud moving on, we believe that this is the right time to make more sweeping changes throughout the organization,” said Leiweke. “Our commitment continues to be focused on not only winning the MLS Cup this and every season but to build a club capable of competing at the international level. This decision is the right one for the organization, the right one for the players and the right one for our fans. We thank Alexi for the tremendous hard work and dedication he brought to his job each and every day.”

Paul Bravo, the Galaxy’s Director of Soccer, will continue in this role overseeing all issues related to the Galaxy’s roster including scouting and evaluating players (collegiate and professional), overseeing the club’s development system and other team administrative functions.

Assistant General Manager Tom Payne will continue to oversee the Galaxy front office, including corporate partnerships, ticket sales, marketing, programming, communications, operations and community development. Payne has been with the organization for six seasons.


Justin said...

What do the players think about this you should ask them and post something about that.

charlesj27 said...

Finally... Finally - it took this long to figure out what was very, very apparrent and clear to ALL loyal LA Galaxy fans... that Alexi Lalas was NOT... emphatically NOT the General Manager and President that this organization deserved nor needed. I wish Tom Payne and Paul bravo the best of luck... it is a heavy, heavy responsibility to steer, guide, and nurture to full strength and growth this great organization. It takes guts, its takes dedication, it takes study and understanding to make this organization shine.
Personally, I would have liked for Head Coach Ruud to finish what he had started - but, the complications, the frustrations, the convolutedness of MLS and its by-laws are far too numerous for a 1st year European coach to become comfortable with. Having said that - isn't placing all of this expectation and responsibility on Asst. Coach Cobi Jones (only a 37-year old former Galaxy player) a LOT to handle??? Is he well-prepared and well-equipped for this daunting task? The LA Galaxy has only 11 more regular season games... in those 11 games, the LA Galaxy is expected to get to the 2008 MLS play-offs and suceed against New England Revs and the Houston Dynamo??? I do not like setting up Cobi Jones for failure - he does not deserve that!!! He given his heart and his health to this organization for 12 years.
To me - the best MLS coach is still Dominic Kinnear... he is a lion among the wolves. And, he has the record and wins to prove it.
I want to wish Cobi, David, Landon, and Chris the very best of luck... I hope they are able to concentrate, keep sharpness, focus, vigor, and competitiveness for the upcoming SuperClassico against Chivas. The LA Galaxy better come out with power, strength, speed, and hunger to take it all the way to the end of the season!!!

Justin said...

Also whats up with Mandou Bojang, could we get an update on him?

Anonymous said...

Yes it's time for a change...but the problem is they keep cutting of the head of the beast when the problem is the belly:

Let's look:

1) 3 years ago with a winning record you fire Sigi Scmidt

2) You hire Steve Sampson who basically finishes strong on Sigi's success and when he is in for his first full year ...he can't buy a fire Steve

3) Go out and buy a name: Beckham- sell $$$$$$$ lots of merchandise, but Beckham is not a single man wrecking crew...1v1 player that makes things happen...he needs people around him

4) leave poor Frank Yallop with a media circus nightmare...not football -soccer anymore but a side show event- maybe this is what Tim L meant when he said AEG was the World's Premiere Entertainment Company...I also know one's called WWF...maybe I should start watching that...

4) Fire Frank Yallop- so he can start up the SJ Club and pound us again ( as they did last week) and bring in one of the most respected players of his era Ruud Guillit

5) Fire Ruud and Alexi for not doing the job..Tim L...does not like to admit that the DB move was wrong...too much at stake...DB is a great deft pass and your dead...problem is he has no support staff.....would be like Robert DeNiro doing Shakepere in the Park and his co-stars were kindergarten children reciting nursery ryhmes...

Tim wake can hire and fire ten more coach's etc....Alex Ferguson could not help this needs to be gutted reconstructed from the core....starting with 7-8 players ....rebuilding the entire defense and need to build this team from the back...stop giving up ridiculous goals....the like of old has beens like Greg Vanney and the bunch add no value...have his retirement game, retire his jersey and get some young talented players....

You can not spend $50MM on one player and being paying the guy next to him $1500.00 per month!

It shows on the field.....the discrepancy in pay is related directly to the discrepancy in talent.... I think there are plenty of players from South and Central America who could help for salaries in thr mere 150 -200 K per year arena....for $2MM I can bring and find 3 or 4 solid Argentine, Brazilian, Columbian or Urugyan players and turn this thing around....

Tim -----AEG....Tim maybe it's time that your head feels the razor of the block....after all you masterminded the Beckham deal and now you are pointing fingers at why it is failing....Not the COACH, GM or President...stop cutting off the just grows back...gut the beast...lean up that roster and bring in some players who have a hunger and desire to win and actually feel that 150K is a great salary to play for...

Let a Coach have at least 2 years to build " HIS" team....stay out of the affairs of day to day almost like you have become the George Sienbrenner of the LA Galaxy....!!!

Anonymous said...

When does Tim Leiweke get fired? It seems to me that he is the cancer in the organization. We are now the LA Kings of the MLS. Thanks alot Tim.