In the midst of a six-match losing streak and on the heels of a record California Clasico loss, the LA Galaxy coaching staff and leadership is under intense scrutiny and Friday, that combined for a coaching rumor from abroad and a plea from supporters for change.
Take this report from the Irish Sun with a healthy grain of salt given the source, but the outlet published a story claiming former Galaxy forward Robbie Keane was set for a return to the club as its next head coach, replacing head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The story was picked up by other tabloids, but in addition to coming from a questionable source, was also complete with a factual error.
At multiple points during the day, the story was denied. The LA Times' Kevin Baxter reported that the Galaxy themselves described the story as a rumor, and Galaxy assistant Gustavo Barros Schelotto told The Athletic's Felipe Cardenas that the coaching staff is preparing for this weekend's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps as normal.
I spoke with #LAGalaxy assistant coach Gustavo Barros Schelotto. He said the staff is preparing for Sunday's match vs Vancouver.— Felipe Cárdenas (@FelipeCar) October 16, 2020
"We have a contract for this year and next season. Our expectation is to fulfill that contract."
While a coaching change is not necessarily imminent at the Galaxy, the club's unified supporters group Victoria Block has demanded the club make some changes to end the losing streak, which has seen the team outscored five to 19. "This is unacceptable," the group wrote in an open letter to president Chris Klein, general manager Dennis te Kloese, head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, and AEG president and CEO Dan Beckerman.
The group said the current run of form "has not equated to anything near what what this fanbase deserves. We understand that we are going to have bad seasons. But this is beyond that. The leadership and direction of this organization has taken with the current team is shocking." They pointed out this is the Galaxy's first six game losing streak since 2007, and asked the team take inspiration from the changes the team made to become one of MLS's most successful teams.
The group is not actively campaigning for the firing of Guillermo Barros Schelotto and his staff, or any of the leaders, but said changes need to be made to get the club back on track.
"Change," the letter demanded. "Do something different. Keep your staff accountable for their mistakes and poor decisions. Understand that we will be here whether this team wins or loses, but when the team is underperforming, we will continue to speak out and push the organization as a whole to be better and strive for what we know its potential is. Do better as a whole. We want to see you succeed."