As a once-promising season has soured with his team sitting on the wrong side of the playoff line, Sigi Schmid has stepped down from the LA Galaxy with just six games remaining in their season. Dominic Kinnear been promoted to interim manager, but who will be named the next full-time Galaxy boss?
With Kinnear taking charge for the remainder of the season, per the team's announcement on Monday, we may not see a new face right away, but that has not stopped the chatter over who will be the next person to lead the five-time MLS champs on a full-time basis. Here are five potential replacements for Schmid in Los Angeles:
Don't think Kinnear won't be on the shortlist for the full-time gig should he show improvement over his six-match cameo in the big seat on the Galaxy bench.
Sure, Kinnear isn't the sexiest option in the world, but his resume is difficult to argue with and would certainly be helped if the two-time MLS Cup champion orchestrates an improbable run to Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. Kinnear has been on Schmid's staff in Los Angeles since 2017, joining two months after he was relieved of his duties by the San Jose Earthquakes.
Kinnear won back-to-back titles with the Houston Dynamo in 2006 and 2007 while also reaching the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup finals, falling to the Galaxy on both occasions. He took charge of the Earthquakes in 2014, failing to make the playoffs in either of his two full seasons before being let go by the Quakes.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto
The time may be right for the 2008 MLS MVP to make his move to the United States.
Schelotto, 45, is currently in charge of Boca Juniors and has been since March 2016, twice winning the league, but has been public with his desire to coach in MLS.
“I would love to coach in MLS in the future,” Schelotto said in May at halftime of a Mexico-Wales friendly at the Rose Bowl. “I don't know when, because I'm happy at Boca. It's a big challenge for me. But in the future, yes, I would like to coach in MLS.”
Last month, Schelotto only committed his future to Boca until December.
Schelotto won 16 Argentine league championships as a player for Boca. He played in MLS for four seasons, with Columbus Crew SC, from 2007 through 2010, and led the team to the MLS Cup title in 2008, when he was voted MLS MVP, named to MLS’s Best XI and also named MLS Cup MVP.
Hugely successful in Portland, Porter is another name oft-mentioned in any MLS coaching vacancy since he departed the Timbers at the end of the 2017 season. The reasons for hiring Porter are simple and plentiful: he's well connected and respected in the league, is an MLS Cup champion and his Timbers teams were solid defensively, which happens to be the Galaxy's fatal flaw.
Irrespective of who is brought in to coach, their defense will need a makeover. But does his press and possess system jive with the key pillars on the roster?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn't exactly a pressing striker; Giovani dos Santos also isn't renowned for his defensive workrate; Ola Kamara is a poacher; Romain Alessandrini is best suited to be burdened only with the minimal defensive responsibility to focus completely on attack; Neither Jonathan dos Santos nor Perry Kitchen can replicate what Diego Chara did for Porter in Portland, though not many players can.
Speaking of interim managers, Sarachan has been in charge of the USMNT on an interim basis for nearly a year now. With the national team, Sarachan has overseen a rebuilding process and has helped make the team younger, something the Galaxy may be in need of in 2019.
Sarachan, like Porter and Kinnear, is no stranger to the ins and outs of MLS. He was an assistant for the Galaxy from 2008-16 and delivered multiple trophies in his only opportunity as a head coach in MLS, from 2002-07 with the Chicago Fire, winning two U.S. Open Cups as well as a Supporters' Shield. He was named MLS Coach of the Year in 2003.
This would be the most Hollywood appointment, wouldn't it? Henry could begin his managerial career in the same country his playing career ended.
The former New York Red Bulls star took up coaching after hanging up his boots, immediately working to acquire his coaching badges while adding thought-provoking analysis with Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. He was added by Roberto Martinez as an assistant coach to the Belgium national team, who finished third at the FIFA World Cup, and has since stepped away from his TV duties to focus on coaching. Learning alongside attack-minded Martinez and Belgium, he ostensibly would fulfill the Galaxy's expectation of attacking soccer, though the team has had no trouble scoring goals this season.
Henry would immediately command the respect of the locker room as one of the greatest goalscorers in history. He is also quite fond of LA's talisman, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
"For me, you're in my top five best strikers in history, and one of the best professionals I have seen. Hands down. Every day, working hard," Henry told Ibrahimovic in an interview between the pair for Sky Sports in 2017. "For me, you inspire people, and you changed the game."
The 41-year-old was reportedly recently in talks to take over French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux but the two sides couldn't reach an agreement.