Last week, LA Galaxy GM Dennis te Kloese said that his club’s head coach, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, was “very committed to making something out of this,” referring to the team’s last-place status and the headline-grabbing inability of superstar Designated Player Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández to find his footing in MLS.
Then the Galaxy were thumped, 5-2, by the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night, and Schelotto’s commitment became irrelevant. Te Kloese couldn’t wait any longer. Schelotto was fired Thursday, becoming the second straight LA manager to be dismissed in less than two seasons since Bruce Arena departed in 2016. Curt Onalfo lasted seven months in 2017.
The Galaxy are in the Western Conference basement at 5-11-3 and have the third-worst record in MLS based on points per game. LA finished fifth in the West last season.
Longtime Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear, who’s been a Galaxy assistant since 2017, will take over as interim manager for the regular season’s final three games. Schelotto’s other assistants, including twin brother Gustavo, also were dismissed.
“Based on results, we have decided to go in a different direction,” Te Kloese said in a written statement. “The LA Galaxy is a club that is built on winning on the field and being representative of the championship mentality and pedigree that you expect in Los Angeles. As a club, we have a collective responsibility and we all must share the blame for the club’s current standing. I take responsibility for the poor results and believe that we can find the right way forward for this team and our club.”
Former Mexico coach Javier Aguirre, who most recently managed Spanish club Leganés, and former Galaxy striker Robbie Keane are among those who’ve been linked recently to the job.
Schelotto finished 22-27-6 in MLS matches, including a first-round playoff win over Minnesota United last season. He remains a league legend thanks to his years as a playmaker for the Columbus Crew, which he led to the MLS Cup-Supporters' Shield double in 2008. His coaching career was going well before arriving in the U.S. He managed Lanús to the Copa Sudamericana crown in 2013 then moved on to his former team, Boca Juniors, which he guided to two Argentine league championships. Schelotto’s tenure with Boca also included the contentious loss to arch-rival River Plate in the 2018 Copa Libertadores finals.
Schelotto is the fourth MLS head coach to be fired this season after Atlanta United's Frank de Boer, the New York Red Bulls' Chris Armas and D.C. United's Ben Olsen.
LA hosts Real Salt Lake on Sunday.