Sigi Schmid is back in the game.
On Thursday LA Galaxy announced that Curt Onalfo had been relieved of his duties “effective immediately” and that Schmid had been hired.
The former UCLA, Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders coach is back for his second-stint with the Galaxy — he previously coached the Galaxy from 1999-2004 — as the man with more wins than any other boss in MLS history is tasked with saving LA’s season.
Schmid has won two MLS Cups, a record five U.S. Open Cups and three MLS Supporters’ Shield over his illustrious career.
LA Galaxy President Chris Klein explained the decision to bring in the experienced coach after Onalfo’s promotion form LA Galaxy II failed to work out with the MLS giants currently languishing in ninth spot in the Western Conference.
“After a great deal of evaluation and careful consideration, we believe that Sigi Schmid is the best person to coach our team for the remainder of this season and into the future,” Klein said. “Sigi is one of the most experienced coaches in the history of soccer in the United States and he is an extremely successful manager that has proven himself to be a winner within Major League Soccer. Sigi has been one of the best coaches the history of our league and we have full confidence in him to lead our team moving forward. Our goal remains to win trophies and be the best club in North America and we believe that Sigi gives us the best opportunity to achieve this. Curt Onalfo has been a loyal servant to the Galaxy and Galaxy II for a number of seasons and we wish him well.”
From the start Onalfo was on a hiding to nothing with Bruce Arena departing for the U.S. national team last season and Onalfo tasked with an almighty rebuild following his great work with bringing through youngsters at LA Galaxy II.
Schmid knows the league inside out and his main aim will be to rally a talented group of Galaxy players to one of their famed second half of the season surges as they search for another MLS Cup to add to their record haul of five.
With LA in ninth spot in the West they are only three points off the bottom of the standings but are also just five points from the final playoff spot.
For so long Schmid plotted LA’s downfall as head coach of the Seattle Sounders from 2009-16, but now he’s back in LA and as fate would have it his first game back in charge of the Galaxy is against… the Sounders this Saturday at StubHub Center.
The struggling New York Red Bulls got a major let-off Wednesday with the news that Kaku would only be suspended two more matches for blasting a ball into a group of fans.
It’s a total of three matches away from the Red Bulls after the incident, which occurred against Sporting KC on April 14.
[ MORE: Manchester Derby recap ]
Someone must have convinced the league that Kaku’s intent was to smash the ball into the advertising boards and not the fans, and injuring a spectator certainly could’ve carried a much longer suspension than three matches.
Kaku already missed a match against New England and will sit out matches against FC Cincinnati and the LA Galaxy.
The 24-year-old midfielder, thrice capped by Paraguay, has seven goals and 14 assists during little more than a season with RBNY. The Red Bulls have started the season 1W-4L-2T.
Manchester United has spent a lot of money on players, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the talent on show at Old Trafford is nothing compared to rivals Manchester City.
What else could he say after his rivals outclassed him 2-0 on Wednesday, a club which wasn’t even in the same league — physically and metaphorically — for half of his tenure as a player for Manchester United?
[ MORE: Manchester Derby recap | 4 things ]
“They had too much for us,” Solskjaer said after the loss. “They are the best team in the country, they have set the standard in the last two seasons and I don’t know how many points they’ve taken. What Pep Guardiola has done with his players is remarkable and we are so close to it in the vicinity so we feel it every day.”
This was a different loss than the lackluster 4-0 blowout at the hands of Everton on Sunday, as United definitely worked hard but had little to offer in attack aside from a few choice Paul Pogba long balls and some wayward finishing from an industrious Jesse Lingard.
“There is a difference in quality,” Solskjaer said in another interview. “That is why they are top and we are where we are. Living in Manchester we cannot be happy with that. It is up to us to close that gap and overtake them.”
[ MORE: Pep reacts | Sane with NBCSN crew ]
We bet every one those words felt like broken glass climbing out of Solskjaer’s throat.
It’s going to take a squad revolution and then time to settle into a new reality. United is probably at least another full season from contending with City, even given last season’s runner-up finish.
And that has to be weird for a manager who was used to seeing the noisy neighbors stationed in the Championship. Solskjaer knows he has a lot of work to do at Old Trafford. Will his bosses let him do it?
Leroy Sane added a second 10-goal season to his Premier League resume on Wednesday when Man City beat Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford.
That he did so in about 650 less minutes says something about his growth and patience as Pep Guardiola has opted to focus on other options in attack.
[ MORE: Manchester Derby recap | 4 things ]
“The mood is obviously you want to play every game but in this squad it’s sometimes normal that you can sit on the bench,” Sane said in a post-match pitch-side talk with the NBCSN crew.
“It’s why I’m not really disappointed. I think in my own head to work harder and stay focused. On the pitch there are really good players playing good. I appreciate it, I enjoy it, and I can learn from this.”
Arlo White asked Sterling whether he believes City are the favorites to win the Premier League title. Liverpool is a point behind City, but has two of its three remaining matches at home compared to City’s one.
“It’s hard to say,” Sane said. “There’s a lot of pressure from Liverpool, but we stay focused on game to game. We have it in our own hands, so just stay focused, and try to win the last three games.”
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are officially over their UEFA Champions League exit, and now salivating at the idea of defending their Premier League crown following a 2-0 defeat of Manchester United on Wednesday.
And the manager is now demanding that his players get laser-focused on the game-by-game.
[ MORE: Recap | 3, er, 4 things ]
“I told the players don’t read tomorrow, don’t watch the television, just rest and sleep a lot and go in there against Burnley,” Guardiola said.
The Man City boss says the side’s early second half changes, taking off Fernandinho to move in Leroy Sane and slot Ilkay Gundogan a bit deeper made the difference from 0-0 to 2-0.
“We knew without Romelu Lukaku they would try more runs in behind,” he said. “The chances we lost came from us losing simple balls in the middle and we changed things in the second half, with Ilkay Gundogan in the middle and with Leroy Sane on we were more dynamic.”
And Guardiola tried to find the words to explain how either Man City or Liverpool will walk away from this season at second place in the league despite being two of the greatest sides ever produced by England.
“Both teams deserve the title, but it can be just one,” Guardiola said. “The team that is going to lose cannot have regrets because they have given everything. Normally with this kind of victory you can it enjoy it the most but now we have to be calm. We have to be in the right phase.”