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Report: LA Galaxy agree terms with Boca Juniors boss Schelotto

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s new boss has a pretty nice resume.

The LA Times’ Kevin Baxter says the LA Galaxy have reached an agreement with a new manager: longtime Columbus Crew star and recent Boca Juniors coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

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The 45-year-old Argentine won the Primera Division in both seasons with Boca, leading Lanus to the Copa Sudamericana in 2013.

A former MLS MVP, Schelotto is tasked with restoring one of the biggest clubs in league history to glory. The Galaxy have lost ground not only in the league, but in their town. LAFC made the playoffs in its first season while the Galaxy failed to make the postseason.

From the LA Times:

When Schelotto joins the Galaxy for the opening of training camp in Carson in 3½ weeks, he will become the team’s fifth head coach in 26 months. Bruce Arena, a five-time MLS Cup winner, left in November 2016 after leading the Galaxy to its last playoff berth. He was replaced by Curt Onalfo, coach of Galaxy II, the team’s United Soccer League affiliate. Onalfo was fired after just 20 games and replaced by Schmid, the winningest coach in MLS history.

Schmid (narrator voice) failed badly with a talented, veteran-laden team which included Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara, and both Jonathan and Giovani Dos Santos.

Zlatan signs new deal with LA Galaxy

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sticking around at the LA Galaxy.

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Ibrahimovic, 37, has agreed a new one-year deal with the Galaxy as his debut season in MLS was a huge success on a personal level, even though his team failed to make the postseason with a defeat on the last day of the season.

It had been rumored that Ibrahimovic would move back to Europe amid strong links with a return to AC Milan, but he has decided to stay in North America for at least another 12 months as his contract has now been restructured to make him a Designated Player for his second season in MLS.

Speaking about his decision to sign a new deal for the 2019 season, Zlatan was typically understated about the whole thing…

“I’m not finished yet with MLS. I started good. I did good but I’m still not satisfied with the outcome,” Ibrahimovic said. “I still have things to do and I see my first year as warming up. My second year will be a big difference because now I know the league. My first year I was warming up. The second year I come to finish.”

New Galaxy GM Dennis te Kloese praised Zlatan’s impact in 2018.

“We are very pleased to sign Zlatan to a new contract that will see him return for the 2019 season,” te Kloese said. “He showed his value last season and we look forward to him representing our club next year. With Zlatan returning, we will continue to improve our team in advance of the season.”

Zlatan scored 22 goals and added 10 assists in just 27 regular season appearances, and although LA missed the playoffs due to their dramatic 3-2 defeat to the Houston Dynamo on the final day of the season, you have to think this season they will have a stronger squad after hiring te Kloese.

The fact that Zlatan has signed a new DP contract now means that LA will have to restructure other deals as Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos are both on DP contracts, and so too is Romain Alessandrini. The likelihood is that LA can use TAM to back Alessandrini off a DP contract, but it will be intriguing to see how this squad is rebuilt.

And, oh yeah, the Galaxy still need a new head coach. At least whoever does come in knows that scoring goals will not be a problem next season. Sorting out the defense and midfield has to be the priority.

Ibrahimovic releases teaser video on re-signing with LA Galaxy

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We could be just hours or days away from the official announcement: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is returning for a second season with the LA Galaxy.

The veteran Swedish striker posted a teaser video across his social media pages with the caption “MLZ Im (sic) not done with you yet,” in which MLZ surely stands for Major League Zlatan. The video features clips from various ESPN shows as pundits discussed Ibrahimovic’s future earlier this offseason, when it appeared more likely that he’d be leaving.

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Since October there have been strong rumors linking him to a return at AC Milan. However, Milan sporting director Leonardo said that a deal fell through and reports out of Sweden state that his family is enjoying life in Southern California and didn’t want to trade that right now for Italy. The LA Times reported last week that Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy were renegotiating his contract, one that would likely make him a Designated Player, in order to bring him back in 2018.

Of course, if Ibrahimovic became a Designated Player, one of Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos or Romain Alessandrini would have to either leave or sign a new, lower contract. That is still up in the air, though signing Ibrahimovic as a DP would necessitate a move in one form or another.

It will be fascinating to see whether Ibrahimovic can follow up on his incredible 22-goal, 10-assist campaign. Can he continue to score timely and important goals as a 38-year-old?

Serie A: AC Milan frustrated by results, missing out on Zlatan

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MILAN (AP) AC Milan’s problems in front of goal show no signs of abating and it has been forced to admit defeat in its attempts to bring back Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Milan was held at home to a 0-0 draw by Torino in Serie A on Sunday. The Rossoneri have scored just three goals in their past four league matches, and only three of the other sides in the top 10 in Serie A have scored fewer than Milan’s tally of 24 in 15 rounds.

Milan had been trying to bring back the 37-year-old Ibrahimovic on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy. The former Sweden international scored more than 50 goals for Milan in his two seasons at the club, 2010-12.

“He gave his word to Galaxy that he would stay if they satisfied his conditions and they did so,” sporting director Leonardo said. “It would have been a really lovely story because it would have given a significant weight to the team.

“We can’t deny that both parties thought of it but it will not be possible.”

Patrick Cutrone should have snatched the win for Milan with four minutes remaining on Sunday but he fired wide of the right post when one-on-one with Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

The 20-year-old Cutrone put his head in his hands in dismay, while other Milan players were also visibly shocked at the miss.

Milan’s teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma pulled off a stunning save in the fifth minute to keep out Iago Falque’s header from close range.

“I’ve had a really difficult year but I’m much more calm now,” said Donnraumma, who has faced criticism recently following several poor performances.

Milan remained fourth, three points behind Inter Milan, which lost at league leader Juventus on Friday. Milan is a point ahead of Lazio, which drew 2-2 at home to Sampdoria on Saturday.

Torino also remained in the fight for the final Champions League place, and is four points behind Milan.

Report: Ibrahimovic could return to AC Milan

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be a one-season wonder in Major League Soccer.

After a spectacular 22-goal, 10-assist campaign for the LA Galaxy, Gazzetta Dello Sport reports that Ibrahimovic is waiting for the phone to ring from AC Milan sporting director Leonardo, with a potential six-month deal in Milan on the table. Ibrahimovic and Leonardo have history – Leonardo was at Paris Saint-Germain when Ibrahimovic joined…from AC Milan, where Ibrahimovic played for two seasons, from 2010 through 2012.

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The 37-year-old striker is now 18 months removed from tearing the ACL in his right knee and showed few injury worries during his time with the Galaxy, where he started in 24 or 27 matches after joining in May. The report in Italy claims that Zlatan could earn upwards of $2.3 million for his six-month stint at Milan, which is more than he earned in base salary in one season in the U.S.

If this is the end of Zlatan’s time in MLS, he leaves having proven that he took the league seriously but also how embarrassingly bad the LA Galaxy’s defense was in 2018. There’s just no way that a team with 22 goals from Ibrahimovic should miss the playoffs.

The big Swede joins the likes of Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney as recent European imports who had an instant impact in MLS. However, Ibrahimovic won’t be remembered alongside players such as David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Thierry Henry and David Villa, all of whom had huge long-term impacts in MLS and for their clubs.