The LA Galaxy have “serious interest” in hiring Dennis te Kloese as their new head of soccer operations, multiple sources have told MLSsoccer.com.
In addition to saying the Galaxy are interested in te Kloese for the position, the sources indicated that it’s highly unlikely that LA will hire former head coach Bruce Arena in the role.
Yahoo Sports’ Doug McIntyre reported last week that the former LA and US men’s national team head coach recently interviewed for a GM-like role with the organization. The sources confirmed that Arena spoke with Galaxy about a front office job, but they said LA are not interested in hiring him at this time.
LA president Chris Klein told reporters on Tuesday that the club will hire a new head of soccer operations this winter. That person will act as the club’s GM and will be responsible for hiring a new head coach. The Galaxy also fired former VP of soccer operations Pete Vagenas on Tuesday.
A Galaxy spokesman told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday that Klein has spoken with a number of candidates both "foreign and domestic" about the head of soccer operations role, but that the club would not be releasing any of their names.
Te Kloese is currently the director of Mexico’s national teams, a role he’s held since last August. He oversees all administrative aspects of the men’s and women’s national teams from the senior sides down through the Under-15s. Prior to being promoted to his current role, te Kloese served as director of Mexico’s youth national teams during a period in which the country won the men’s gold medal at the 2012 Olympics and twice reached the semifinals of the U-17 World Cup.
A native of the Netherlands and a Dutch youth international at the U-17 and U-20 levels, te Kloese moved to Mexico in 2003 when he was named scouting director of Chivas de Guadalajara. He served as director of soccer for now-defunct MLS side Chivas USA – at the time Guadalajara’s sister club – from 2005-08, then returned to Mexico to work as academy director of Tigres from 2008-11. He moved to the Mexican federation in 2011, spent most of 2013 as sporting president of Chivas de Guadalajara and Chivas USA, then returned 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 San Jose Earthquakes’ GM job following the 2016 season.
LA have struggled mightily since Arena left the club to take the USMNT job following the 2016 season. They haven’t made the playoffs in either of the subsequent two seasons and are now searching for their third full-time head coach since Arena’s departure.
Arena, 67, led LA to three MLS Cup titles during his tenure as head coach from 2008-2016. He hasn’t been employed since he resigned as USMNT head coach three days after the team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in October 2017.