ExtraTime Radio Podcast
LISTEN: One of the craziest days in MLS is broken down by the crew as Sigi Schmid takes over at the Galaxy and Bob Bradley is hired as LAFC's first head coach. Schmid comes on to discuss his new role and what Galaxy fans should expect going forward. In the second segment, the guys break down USA's Gold Cup triumph while fans make their voices heard in the mailbag. Subscribe now so you never miss a show! Download this episode!
With 14 games remaining in the season, Onalfo, who was hired last winter after Bruce Arena left the club to take the helm of the US national team, found himself relieved of head coaching duties midseason for the third time in his MLS coaching career.
For Schmid, MLS’ all-time winningest manager, the announcement came exactly one year and one day after he was axed by the Seattle Sounders. He was dismissed last summer just as the Sounders were set to welcome Nicolas Lodeiro to the club, an addition that sparked their historic run to MLS Cup. This time around, Schmid’s introduction was followed hours later by the Galaxy signing a high-profile Designated Player of their own, Mexican international Jonathan dos Santos, the younger brother of LA star Giovani dos Santos.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year, and not a lot of in between,” Galaxy president Chris Klein told reporters on Thursday. “We had a difficult start and then went on an eight or nine game unbeaten streak. When we looked at where we were and the opportunity that we have with the rest of the season, we felt that now was the right time.
“Could it have been a week earlier, a week later? Maybe. But we came to an agreement with coach this week and we’re happy about where we are.”
Once Klein and the Galaxy decided to move on from Onalfo, it didn’t take them long to get a deal done with Schmid, who previously coached LA from 1999-2004.
“The process was a 48-hour to 72-hour process,” said Schmid. “It didn’t take me long to think about it, because this has always been a club that’s dear to my heart and so coming back is a great situation.”
To add an extra layer to the timing wrinkle, LAFC also chose Thursday to announce that they hired former USMNT manager Bob Bradley as their first head coach. Klein insisted the Galaxy announcing their coaching change on the same day as their future crosstown rivals was just coincidence.
“In terms of the timing, we focus on us,” he said. “Once we make a decision and get an agreement with someone like Sigi we push go. We actually have a game Saturday. To get things in place and have him train the team today, and have a couple days of preparation with the team, we went with our story when we had everything done. It wasn’t in relation to what someone else is doing.”
As to why the club went with Schmid as their new head coach, it was his experience and winning tradition that the team is after. While they could have dismissed Onalfo and used an interim coach, Klein said was important to bring someone in with a track record of winning in MLS as LA look to climb out of ninth in the West and make a run at the playoffs.
“Sigi’s record speaks for itself, so when we went back and evaluated everything, he was the right man for the Galaxy job at this time,” said Klein. “He understands our club, certainly no one has a better understanding of our league and we made a very clear decision that became an easy decision that he was the right man for the job.”