Galaxy will have new coach soon
The Galaxy expect to have a new coach in place before the end of this month and probably before the team leaves on a two-game trip to Australia and New Zealand immediately after Thanksgiving.
Just who that coach will be, however, was not something that the Major League Soccer team would reveal Monday, wild rumors about former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho or former Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello coming to Los Angeles notwithstanding.
Nor would Alexi Lalas, the team’s president and general manager, speculate on whether former German national team coach and Southern California resident Juergen Klinsmann would be in the running for the post left vacant by Frank Yallop’s resignation Sunday.
“Nothing is out of the realm of possibility,” Lalas said. “I think we’ve demonstrated that over the last year. We would certainly look to use this opportunity to bring in somebody who is going to have an impact certainly on the Galaxy but also on the league and the sport in many of the same ways that David Beckham did.”
That comment suggests a recognized coach with international experience, which puts current Manchester United assistant and former Portugal national team coach Carlos Queiroz squarely in the running.
Queiroz, 54, has MLS experience, having coached the then-New York MetroStars, now the Red Bulls, to a 12-12-0 record in 1996 before losing a three-game playoff series to eventual champion D.C. United.
Coincidentally, Bruce Arena was coach of that D.C. United team, which defeated the Galaxy in the final, and Arena on Monday stepped down as the Red Bulls coach by “mutual agreement,” according to the New York club. He is not considered a candidate for the Galaxy job.
Queiroz, meanwhile, has three things going for him. First, he knows Beckham well, having coached him at Manchester United and Real Madrid. Second, he originally is from Mozambique, just like Galaxy defender Abel Xavier, and could relate well to the veteran Portuguese international. Third, he is familiar with American players, having authored the blueprint for U.S. Soccer on how the national team could be made competitive at the World Cup level by 2010.
Fluent in five languages, Queiroz coached Portugal to victory in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 1989 and 1991. In addition to Portugal, he also coached the national teams of the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, as well as Real Madrid and Japanese club Grampus Eight.
Well regarded and well connected internationally, Queiroz said in September that he was considering leaving Manchester United to explore other options.
Lalas would not tip his hand but said the Galaxy would move swiftly to replace Yallop and that the financial investment needed to attract a top international coach would not be a deterrent.
“It’s about finding the correct person for the time, the place and the circumstances that exist at the Galaxy,” Lalas said. “We’d like to do that sooner rather than later. We’re not going to rush the decision, but this isn’t something that we want to draw out.”
Yallop, meanwhile, has reached agreement to become coach of the San Jose Earthquakes, the team he led to MSL titles in 2001 and 2003.