Schelotto returns to MLS, where he enjoyed success as a player, as takes over on the bench of the LA Galaxy.

By Avi Creditor
January 02, 2019

The LA Galaxy have a new manager after unveiling former Boca Juniors coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto as the club's new boss on Wednesday.

Schelotto most recently guided Boca Juniors to the Copa Libertadores final, where his side fell to River Plate over the tumultuous two-legged ordeal during which Boca's team bus was assaulted by fans before the scheduled second leg at El Monumental. After a series of delays and protests, the decisive match was moved to Madrid, where River Plate won in extra time. On Dec. 14, Boca Juniors announced that Schelotto would not be returning upon the expiration of his contract, and after much speculation, he's landed in Los Angeles. 

As a player, Schelotto enjoyed a decorated career, especially in his time in MLS. He led the Columbus Crew to MLS Cup in 2008, winning MLS MVP and MLS Cup MVP honors that season after a seven-goal, 19-assist campaign (and an additional six assists in the playoffs). In four MLS seasons, all with Columbus, he scored 35 goals and assisted on 48 others across regular season and postseason play.

As a manager, Schelotto has found success with Lanus and Boca Juniors, winning a Copa Sudamericana with the former in 2013 prior to winning two consecutive league titles with the latter in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Outside of his stint with the Crew, he spent his entire playing and managing career in his native country.

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Schelotto's arrival is part of a big offseason of change for the Galaxy, as the club recently appointed former director of Mexico national teams Dennis te Kloese as general manager. The club's other chief priority was securing the return of its main star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will be staying with the team for another season. Schelotto replaces interim coach Dominic Kinnear, who had taken over for Sigi Schmid midway through the season but couldn't quite get the Galaxy to the playoffs. Schmid tragically passed away over Christmas.

Schelotto was rumored to be in talks with MLS Cup champion Atlanta United about its vacant manager post following the departure of Tata Martino as well, but the club hired Frank De Boer instead. He'll look to provide something the Galaxy have lacked ever since Bruce Arena departed as manager in November 2016: stability. None of the three managers after Arena–Curt Onalfo, Schmid, Kinnear–spent one complete season with the club, which remains MLS's most storied with a record five league titles.

“I am honored to be the head coach for the most decorated club in Major League Soccer,” Schelotto said in a statement. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me, and I am excited to get to work. The LA Galaxy have long been the standard in MLS and I am ready to push the club to new heights.”

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