The last few years for the LA Galaxy have fallen far short of the club's lofty expectations.
The Galaxy missed the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, including a hugely disappointing 2020 in which they conceded the second-most goals in the league. The poor run of form ultimately cost Guillermo Barros Schelotto his job.
Well-respected head coach and member of the Galaxy's inaugural 1996 season, Greg Vanney, has succeeded the Argentine. It's a new day.
“For us, it’s a new journey, a new opportunity and a new era," Vanney told media on a virtual press conference. "A new staff, fresh ideas going into this season. It’s an exciting opportunity to officially kick things off.”
Vanney is one of many year-over-year changes for the Galaxy.
A number of players departed, including Cristian Pavon, Joe Corona, David Bingham, Emiliano Insua and more, paving the way for a long list of additions, headlined by Kevin Cabral, Samuel Grandsir and Derrick Williams. They are set to have as many as four new starters between the backline and goalkeeper, two new wingers and perhaps a new No. 10 for their strongest XI. It's a huge rebuild, with Vanney at the forefront.
The winningest coach in Toronto FC history has a tall task on his hands of rebuilding this once-dominant club, but his expectations remain high.
“Our goal is to win a championship, but that comes with a lot of little goals between now and then," Vanney said. "For us, it’s being focused on the process of improving every single day, getting a better understanding of our vision and goals. ... For me, I feel the same pressure. The pressure for me is always to win championships, win trophies. To be successful, to find ways to push our franchise to the top so other franchises are trying to emulate what we’re doing. That’s our ambition every single day.”
And this new era gets started against a club legend, as they travel to face David Beckham's Inter Miami on Sunday (3 pm ET | ABC). Beckham and Vanney played one season together, 2008, in Vanney's final professional campaign. He had returned to the Galaxy for one final season after spending 1996-01 with the club.
“To kick off against David and their franchise — which is another franchise I believe, in time, will be a model franchise for our league — it’s a wonderful opportunity," Vanney said. "Obviously David’s history here goes without saying, I’m excited for it.”