The LA Galaxy are officially searching for a new manager. Bruce Arena left the club after nine years to take over the U.S. national team, leaving LA with a hole in their organization. They promoted Pete Vagenas to take over general manager duties, but there's still the manager job to figure out.
Who could they hire?
If the Galaxy hire from within, Onalfo is the obvious pick. He has extensive experience under Arena for club and country. He also has managerial experience, leading Kansas City and D.C. before. He's been the Galaxy's reserve coach ever since the team was founded and has done a good job with their young players, garnering respect throughout MLS and USL, not to mention inside the Galaxy organization.
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Berhalter was the darling of MLS a year ago, leading the Columbus Crew to the MLS Cup final in his first year as the club's boss. But things went downhill this season in a big way as the Crew missed the playoffs. Still, he has some appeal.
First of all, he has ties to Arena and the Galaxy, playing for the former LA boss on the national team and in MLS. He also has ties to ownership, managing Hammarby, a Norwegian club that AEG also owns. Berhalter is also someone who could work very well in a larger organization where powers are split up, especially one that values analytics and outside opinion. That appears to be the direction the Galaxy are going.
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It's hard to argue there's a better boss in MLS right now than Pareja. The work he's done with FC Dallas is truly magnificent and he's shown that he can not only develop young talent — something the Galaxy have emphasized — but also win while doing so.
The problem for LA will be luring him away from Dallas, where he has strong ties, a good team and a set-up that he's comfortable with alongside technical director Fernando Clavijo. This would be the home run hire for LA, but a very tough one.
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Club president Chris Klein said that the club will interview at least one foreign candidate. It's not clear who that would be, but Wagner would be a coup. He worked under Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and has been working his magic with Championship side Hudderfield since taking over there last year.
Wagner is the German-born son of an American father who played for the U.S., so there could be an appeal to managing in the States, but that's about the only chance the Galaxy probably have. Wagner is a rising star in Europe and seems unlikely to leave.
If there's an opening in MLS, Schmid has to be linked to it. That's the rule.
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