Dave Sarachan - walking off the field after LA Galaxy game

Longtime LA Galaxy assistant coach Dave Sarachan has left the team “to pursue other professional opportunities,” the Galaxy announced on Thursday, with the Los Angeles Timesreporting that he plans to continue coaching at the pro level, possibly even with 2018 MLS expansion club LAFC.

Sarachan, whose official title with the Galaxy was associate head coach, spent eight successful years with LA marked by five trips to the MLS Cup final, including victories in 2011, 2012 and 2014, and Supporters’ Shields in 2010 and 2011.

"I am proud of the role I have played in delivering three MLS Cup championships to Los Angeles and I'm thankful for the relationships I've developed over the course of my time here,” said Sarachan in a statement. “Leaving a group of players of such quality and class is not easy but, professionally, I am ready for a new challenge."

Sarachan joined the Galaxy in August 2008, on the same day Bruce Arena was named head coach and general manager. LA compiled a 125-70-79 record in regular-season play during his tenure.

He served as the head coach of the Chicago Fire from 2002 to 2007, winning the 2003 Supporters’ Shield and the 2003 and 2006 US Open Cup Championships, reaching the MLS Cup final in 2003 and earning 2003 MLS Coach of the Year honors. Sarachan has also logged long periods of service alongside Arena, working on his staff at the University of Virginia (1984-1988), D.C. United (1998-1999), and the US national team (2000-2002).

“I don’t have anything specific lined up. I just felt like this was the right time,” Sarachan told the LA Times, adding that a role with LAFC would “check all the boxes.”

“I still feel I have the energy to coach,” he said. “I want to coach. I want to be on the field.”

Prior to joining the Galaxy, Sarachan served as the director of scouting for the US Soccer Development Academy, where he identified many top young players across the nation. A native of Rochester, New York and a graduate of Cornell University, Sarachan played professionally in both the NASL and the MISL and coached his alma mater from 1988 to 1997.

“Dave has been an outstanding member of this organization for nearly a decade,” said Arena. “His passion, dedication, and experience have been incredibly valuable to players, coaches, and staff. I want to thank Dave for his hard work and wish him the best of luck. He will be missed immensely.”