CARSON, Calif. – During his first appearance as LA Galaxy head coach, Guillermo Barros Schelotto proclaimed that he “likes the offensive soccer,” hardly a surprise given his silky attacking skills, so key to the success Boca Juniors and Columbus Crew SC attained during his playing days, and how Lanus and Boca Juniors approached the game during his stints in charge.
But the Argentine manager, officially presented during a news conference Thursday afternoon at Dignity Health Sports Park, had little to say about his vision for the Galaxy, noting that he and general manager Dennis te Kloese needed to discuss roster options before taking additional steps toward the 2019 season.
That's as big a picture as he's entertaining at this point, with preseason camp just a few weeks away and the first game just two months ahead.
“I think we have really good players, international players, so we need to [determine] how we are going to play,” Schelotto said after the presentation. “I like play to be offense. I like the fans to come to the stadium, they know how it's going to play, the team, and they're looking forward to the game.
“Sometimes I like to play with 4-3-3 [formation]. But maybe the last minute of the game, [tactics must be altered].”
Schelotto said he'd spent two days this week watching “a lot of games” from last season.
“I know what we have to do in the future, [in] what positions we need to bring in some players,” he said. “But first I need to talk with Dennis, we create something, and then we take a decision about [constructing the team]. MLS is different than a lot of leagues, so I need to talk to him, and then we are talking some decisions.”
He likes the options going forward, citing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romain Alessandrini and Kamara. But there are weaknesses that must be addressed, especially after the club's dismal defensive performance most of last season. It's uncertain how quickly and effectively he and te Kloese can achieve that on what appears to be a very tight budget.
“There's obviously a lot of things that will take a little bit of time,” te Kloese said. “There's a lot of things that's on the roster [that] need to be figured out, as we saw. ... There has been probably a little bit of unbalance defensively.
“With Guillermo coming in, the experience that he has, [and with perhaps] in the coming weeks an intensive search for some players, I think that is one of the first priorities that we're looking at. Because offensively, obviously, the team showed a lot of promise last year. And will show this year, also.”