Stejskal: LA Galaxy close to hiring Dennis te Kloese to lead soccer staff

Dennis te Kloese - generic

The LA Galaxy are close to hiring Dennis te Kloese as their new head of soccer operations, multiple sources have told first reported earlier this month that the Galaxy were interested in hiring te Kloese, who is currently the director of Mexico’s national teams.

Additionally, two of the sources said that Dominic Kinnear is a serious candidate to continue as full-time head coach in 2019. Those two sources said that te Kloese and Kinnear recently met to discuss the former Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes manager staying on as Galaxy head coach. LA president Chris Klein stated earlier this offseason that Kinnear would be considered for the full-time role.

Kinnear joined the Galaxy as an assistant in August 2017 and was named interim head coach after Sigi Schmid left the club on Sept. 10. He led the Galaxy to a 3-2-1 record and had the team on the brink of qualifying for the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs before a dramatic collapse against Houston on Decision Day left them on the outside looking in.

Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been complimentary of Kinnear several times since he took over as interim manager, telling reporters at the club’s final media availability of the year that he thinks the 51-year-old should be considered for the full-time role. The sources didn’t think Ibrahimovic’s support was the driving force behind Kinnear's emergence as a real contender for the full-time job, but, with the 37-year-old’s future in LA somewhat uncertain amid reports linking him to AC Milan and hints that he's looking for a new contract, they acknowledged that the Swede’s endorsement could only help the former Houston and San Jose manager.

Te Kloese has been director of Mexico’s national teams since August 2017, when he was promoted from his previous position as director of Mexico’s youth national teams. He oversees all administrative aspects of all men’s and women’s senior and youth national teams in his current role.

A native of the Netherlands, te Kloese moved to Mexico in 2003 when he was named scouting director of Chivas de Guadalajara. He worked in MLS from 2005-2008, serving as director of soccer for Chivas USA. He returned to Mexico in 2008 to work as Tigres academy director, moved to the Mexican federation in 2011, then spent most of 2013 as sporting president of Chivas before returning to the FMF in February 2014.

Highly regarded for his work in youth development on both the club and international level, te Kloese recruited several American-born players to Mexican academies and helped bring former US youth international and Monterrey midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez into the fold with Mexico’s senior team. He was reportedly one of five finalists for the Earthquakes’ GM job following the 2016 season, when Kinnear was still head coach of the Bay Area club.

The third-winningest coach in MLS history, Kinnear led Houston to MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007. The former U.S. international and the Dynamo lost MLS Cup to LA in 2011 and 2012. He left Houston following the 2014 season to take over in San Jose, where he lasted two-plus seasons before he was fired in June 2017.