Two weeks remain until MLS kicks off its 2019 calendar with the annual Player Combine in Orlando, and the LA Galaxy are still without a head coach.
LA’s search for a full-time replacement for Sigi Schmid has been relatively public. An initial report on Nov. 28 on MLSsoccer.com named interim manager Dominic Kinnear as a strong candidate for the full-time position. The club later turned their attention to Caleb Porter, with The Athleticreporting on Dec. 11 – one night after Porter and Galaxy brass were photographed courtside at an LA Lakers game – that the Galaxy were set to hire the former Portland Timbers manager. Since then, Porter appears set to join Columbus Crew SC over signing with the Galaxy.
On Wednesday, further details emerged regarding the Galaxy’s pursuit of both Kinnear and Porter. Multiple sources told MLSsoccer.com that both were offered the job. Kinnear, who took over for Schmid in September and oversaw an uptick in form but failed to guide the Galaxy to the playoffs, received the first offer. The sources said the Galaxy presented him with a one-year contract. The former San Jose and Houston manager wanted a multi-year deal, however, and, after LA didn’t increase the length of the contract, he turned them down.
After their one-year offer to Kinnear was rebuffed, LA then ramped up their pursuit of Porter. A former roommate of Galaxy president Chris Klein at Indiana University, Porter was eventually offered a three-year deal by LA around the time of his night out with Klein, sporting director Dennis te Kloese and AEG CEO Dan Beckerman at the Lakers game. At that point, he had already been in discussions with Columbus. With LA in the game, Crew SC’s prospective ownership group raised their offer. The sources said they came in way over the top of the Galaxy, giving Porter a five-year deal that will pay him about $1 million per season. LA didn’t match, and Porter accepted the job in Columbus. The sources expect his appointment to be announced pending final approval of the sale of Crew SC from Anthony Precourt to a group led by Dr. Pete Edwards and Dee and Jimmy Haslam this winter.
Where the Galaxy go from here, at least for the moment, remains something of a mystery. The club have been connected to former Columbus star midfielder and ex-Boca Juniors manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto this offseason. It’s also been reported by several outlets that Atlanta United are targeting Schelotto as their replacement for departed head coach "Tata" Martino. One source said Kinnear could re-emerge as a candidate with LA.
The only certainty? The clock is ticking on their search.