Instead of firing manager Sigi Schmid which many thought was the only inevitable conclusion to this disastrous season, the LA Galaxy have doubled down on their experienced manager, transferring him player personnel duties stripped from general manager Pete Vagenas.
According to Kevin Baxter and his report in the LA Times, Vagenas will remain with the team, but has been demoted to a role as vice president of soccer operations, in essence now reporting to Schmid for all player personnel decisions.
“The results this season did not meet the standard and expectations of this club, our fans and this city,” said team president Chris Klein of the Galaxy’s last-placed finish in the Western Conference with just 32 points, level with D.C. United for the least of any team in MLS.
The Galaxy missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and they weren’t even close, winning just eight matches all season and finishing last for the first time in the history of the franchise. It was understood that Schmid was given a horrendous roster devoid of any players that fans had become attached to, but the former Seattle Sounders head man was still thought to be the one to take the fall, if not alongside Vagenas.
Instead, the 64-year-old is taking the reigns. “I am excited for the opportunity to build the Galaxy roster into one that is capable of competing for championships,” Schmid said. “This offseason is vital as we look ahead to the coming season and we will begin the efforts necessary to strengthen our roster immediately.”
The defense is likely the first order of business, with the club conceding 67 goals through their 34 league matches, the second-most of any MLS club behind the 70 by Minnesota United. Schmid will likely build the attack around the dos Santos brothers, but it would seem anyone (maybe outside of USMNT veteran Gyasi Zardes) is expendable.