Whose head will roll in LA?

Ruud_gullit_isiphotoscom_2
Alexi_lalas_isiphotoscom_2

                                                      Photos by ISIphotos.com

Maybe it was fitting that Ryan Cochrane, a player Alexi Lalas helped draft with the original San Jose Earthquakes four years ago, scored San Jose’s game-winning goal on Sunday. Better yet, maybe it was more fitting to see Frank Yallop celebrate a victory over the manager he was dumped for, a manager whose job is in jeopardy.

The Los Angeles Galaxy’s 3-2 loss to San Jose on Sunday wasn’t just a bad loss, it was a heart-breaking, last-minute defeat that leaves the Galaxy winless in its last six matches. How long has it been since LA won a match? Consider that when the Galaxy next takes the field it will be Aug. 14th, exactly TWO MONTHS since the team beat San Jose, 3-0, at MaCafee Coliseum.

TWO MONTHS! (insert voice of Henry Hill’s angry father in Goodfellas here).

Somewhere Abel Xavier is cackling like like Dr. Evil from a padded stylist’s chair in some Lisbon beauty salon, and somewhere Tim Lieweke is picking up glass from the television he shattered after Cochrane’s goal, knowing he is left with a decision to make.

Whose head will roll?

Who will take the fall for this awful run of form? I’m not advocating for someone to be fired, but after weeks of second and third-hand rumors and rumblings about AEG not being happy with the Galaxy’s performance you would think a loss like Saturday, and two months like the team has had, would merit a pink slip for somebody.

Right?

I can’t help but wonder if Lieweke and company remember the last time the Galaxy won MLS Cup. Steve Sampson was in charge and he was dragging the team through an awful season. Somehow Sampson’s Galaxy snuck into the playoffs and rode a hot streak all the way to an MLS Cup title.

You remember that right? The beauty of MLS’ playoff format was on full display as a thoroughly mediocre team got hot for a few weeks and helped make a bumbling coach into Alex Ferguson for a month. Of course Sampson didn’t make it through the next season before being replaced by Yallop.

SO what will LA do? Will the Galaxy stick with Gullit, or send him packing in favor of some interim manager with a tad more knowledge of MLS and a tad less contempt for his own players? Or will AEG finally cut its ties with Lalas, or will it stick by the man it has put in charge of ruining running three different MLS teams?

Maybe Phil Anschutz gets feds up and boots Lieweke, Gullit and Lalas in some Michael Corleone at the end of Godfather II sort of way. Maybe Anschutz makes the flight to Virginia to speak to Bruce Arena about righting the ship and Arena thinks about LA and the great golf courses and being reunited with Landon Donovan and decides the time is right to come back.

Okay, so maybe none of that is happening. What seems clear is something needs to happen because the "jewel" of MLS is tarnishing more by the week and the half a million people who bought David Beckham Galaxy jerseys are either starting to feel embarrassed to wear them, or are too oblivious of the situation to realize just what that Galaxy symbol on their jersey stands for these days.

It certainly doesn’t stand for "Sexy Football."

(What do you think of the LA Galaxy’s situation? Do you think somebody should be fired, and of so, who? Share your thoughts below.)

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73 Responses to Whose head will roll in LA?

  1. Lalas should be canned, but Ruud better have his CV handy…since he decided to can Xavier and doesn’t know MLS.

    Congrats to the Quakes!

  2. Ted says:

    Gullit listed his house for sale a few weeks ago.

    link to latimes.com

  3. Ted says:

    Barcelona / Chivas friendly on FSC…

    Barca up 3-0, but Jesus Padilla is playing for Chivas and looking pretty good.

  4. spencer says:

    i think Lalas goes first, and if the team doesn’t pick it up by the end of the year Rud is gone also

  5. Bob says:

    I think Rudd needs some more time — Lalas has had enough and should be sent packing.

  6. KK says:

    Just came back from the game. The Quakes are a much improved team this time around. Shrewd acquisitions such as Huckerby and Alvarez (both of whom had a goal, and Huckerby ran roughshod down the L flank in the vacuum that DB leaves behind when he goes forward) really helped the team out. On the otherside, LA hasn’t done squat w/ personnel changes, other than admit that they made bad choices and cut folks (see Xavier and Barbayaro and maybe Ruiz?)

    As you put it in your first draft – Lalas and run a couple of teams in to the ground, why did AEG expect any thing different?

  7. Nathanhj says:

    I have no idea what Gullit is like as a coach, but I think, judging by his personnel choices and tactical adjustments, that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to game management.

    I’ve not been impressed with Lalas, but, frankly, don’t really know how much power he’s ever had over player movement. If he has really been mostly responsible for all the moves since the Hartman-Cannon-Ihemelu-Gomez trade, then I’d personally to get him out of there.

    There’s not a lot that can be done this season because of cap and roster restrictions and the fact that the G’s don’t have much to give up, honestly.

    I’d give Gullit to the end of the season and at least half of next season and I’d can Lalas. Unless someone else is making all the personnel moves, in which case I’d fire that person.

  8. Ivan says:

    I think Lalas should go. His moves (trading Chris Albright and acquiring Carlos Ruiz and his bloated salary along with bringing in Greg Vanney already serve as grounds for dimissal).

    Gullitt should be given at least the rest of the season and perhaps next season to see if he’s adjusted to MLS. Granted he’s made some head-straching desicions (sticking with Pires until today, playing Vagenas even though he plays like garbage and not playing Eduardo Dominguez today to see if he’s shaken off the nerves of playing in his first MLS game), but Gullitt is simply trying to make the best of a bad situation that was started mainly by Lalas.

    If I were AEG, I would clip Lalas, make assistant GM Tom Payne the team president and Paul Bravo the GM, both on an interim basis. Bravo is at least making an effort to improve the situation with his scouting trips and bringing in players like Mandou Bojang and the three Cubans (before the season) for trials.

  9. Thom says:

    I have been confounded by the fact they have not signed a defensive midfielder, a reliable keeper or a center back. ( Cronin is horrid- that 2nd goal by San Jose would send any keeper to the bench in any self respecting league. He had the angle and all he had to do was “get big”. Surely there is reliable back up in the MLS who would not break the bank?)

    GM or Manager? I would go with GM for only one reason: he only has one main responsibility and that is player acquisition. I think the team does ok on the field and is very attractive going forward so it isn’t a tactical problem; it’s a talent problem on the defensive end of the pitch. All I know about Gullit besides his stellar playing career and not so stellar coaching one is what you mention above about Xavier’s parting shots and I don’t believe any serious person would put stock in them.

    On a personal note: I think Lalas is a slick, vacuous corporate charlatan in the classic sense and this comes from someone who has spent 20 years in corporate America. I have had the unfortunate experience to know too many like him and their self promotion never equals what they actually contribute to the end products betterment. He talks about metrics and marketing foot prints on non-soccer related shows when he should be engaged in far more serious endeavors like actually improving the product that the Galaxy is ultimately selling-not the packaging and bells and whistles it comes with. The product has lovely, eye catching bells and whistles but once you get past the glitz and pizzazz it is quite apparent it ultimately doesn’t function very well at all.

    Last though: do you think for a minute that all the money invested in Guillit’s and Lalas salaries would have been able to lure Nichols out of New England? Now that would have been money well spent because the man has his finger on how to make things work in the wacky world of the MLS salary cap from both a talent mix and team chemistry standpoint.

  10. Eugene says:

    Honestly, all this panic is silly. The Galaxy are doing well enough in the standings to make a play-off spot. So what, they’ve had a run of bad form, but that can change over night. They’ve added some defensive help, and may get some more help from Cory Gibbs. It’s not like the team isn’t scoring. They’ll lock down the defense and their form will come back.

    Really don’t see any reason to worry. It’s not like the team is name “NY Red Bulls.”

  11. Tony in Quakeland says:

    What has Lalas done to keep his job? Nothing. I mean, here’s a guy who got rid of Findley and keeps Gordon. That’s case closed right there.

    Look at how bad thier left side is, while the Quakes (Alvarez, Huckerby) and DC (Guerreo) add quality left sided players. He can’t move RUiz and get defensive help. Lalas is horrible.

    I think you have to give Ruud another year, however.

  12. Fid says:

    Lalas has ruined how many franchises in MLS now? His time has long since passed in LA and he should be canned ASAP by AEG.

  13. james says:

    Alexi Lalas should be fired cause ever since he was GM they have not made the playoffs

  14. Steve says:

    Hey Eugene, the Red Bulls have made the playoffs five straight seasons. LA didn’t make it last year. Get your facts straight.

    And as for those “defensive help” you’re talking about? The new guy Dominguez has been in the lineup for seven goals allowed in two games. With help like that, I can see how you’re so confident the defense will get “locked down.” More like locked up for fraud.

  15. RHYbread says:

    Lalas is trash. I don’t think anyone that follows MLS will argue that point, but as a company man, I doubt AEG is going to outright remove him. He’ll stick around for a long time, delivering destruction whenever he flares up, sorta like a bad case of herpes.

    Gullit hasn’t been all too impressive. As an MLS coach, he’s better than decent but not great. His best work this season has been Edson Buddle. On the other hand, he seems to have become fascinated with playing Landon on the wing, where we all know he doesn’t work. And for all the words written about how Gullit is one coach that can actually talk to Beckham without feeling inferior, he let’s DB get away with lots of unneeded and lazy crosses.

    Too many soccer writers are all over Beckham’s performance this season. Considering his ability and the quality of players on the field for both teams, he should be the best hands down, but you’d be hard pressed to list more than three games where he’s Beckham’s been great.

  16. Nathanhj says:

    Dominguez didn’t play in today’s game, so he’s just on the hook for four goals.

  17. Rudy says:

    Lalas has to go. I’ll be pretty annoyed if Ruud gets axed, I’d like to see what he could do with a roster that wasn’t put together by a moron.

  18. Kaiser says:

    Lalas has to go!

    Look at the team he took over and the team now. There isn’t near as much talent as when he arrived (especially if you take Beckham out of the equation). I won’t waste time going over all the horrible decisions he’s made (OK, I’ll just mention 1 of the 30…getting Klein for Sturgis and Findley…we could really use both of those guys right now!), but it is obvious he has to go.

    I’d hang on to Gullit, though. Sure the Galaxy lost to an expansion team today, but Gullit made some nice adjustments in the second half. He is still learning MLS, but his soccer IQ is undeniable. He’s doing the best with the crappy hand that Lalas dealt him. Keep the Dutchman!

  19. daggius says:

    Carlos Ruiz is crap. Scrap him and get some better defenders and put Vanney on the bench where he belongs. Getting rid of Xavier was only half the problem. Once you scrap Vanney too and pick up competant defenders, then u can move Chris Klein into the midfield where he will work his magic with Beckham and Donovon and SHAZAM you won. Chris Klein is hard-working but he’s not a defender and having him at Wing Back is a waste of his play-making talents. Also agree Cronin is pretty useless. Go get some experienced, cheap 40+ year old instead of this silly little boy in the net. And why is Ely Allen on the field at all? He doesnt even look like he knows what soccer is. Terrible. Randolph is way better than him.

    If Gullit just started Troy Roberts , put Randolph on defense instead of Klein, and moved Klein into midfield in place of Ely Allen, he would have won that game with the Earthquakes 4-0

    Make me coach now.

  20. cesar barrientos says:

    Lalas should go asap he along has ruing the red bulls now galacy isd next

  21. Oranje Mike says:

    Ruud needs time as all managers do. Canning him would solve nothing. If anyone should be on thin ice it should be Lalas. He’s the man who pulls the strings and put the team together. LA has Becks, Landycakes and Buddle but that isn’t enough. A team needs to be built around them. Everyone seems to think that because the Galaxy has a few stars on the roster they should be on top of the league. That’s not how it works.

  22. beckster says:

    It’s not going to get any prettier when Donovan and possibly Beckham go off to world cup qualifying. They really need to fix the defense fast.

  23. Paul Lorinczi says:

    Thom…

    The partying shots by Xavier were sentiments of Newcastle players that played for him.

    Granted, Xavier is over the hill, but his comments are not off base considering Gullit’s past.

  24. Gomez says:

    Nobody needs to be fired. If they can bring in a couple of midfileders, they are back at the top!

    It is not the defense, it is the midfield!!!!!!!

    It doesn’t matter who plays defense when you midfield is beaten all the time!

    Make a move , FO!!!!!! Where is Nobby Solano??????????????

  25. Mike says:

    Without a doubt it’s Lalas and his ego.

    I honestly think the Galaxy would have a winless season if it weren’t for Beckham, Donovan or Buddle. Steve Cronin sucks and sucks bad. It’s too bad Chivas were able to snap up Zach Thorton before the Galaxy were.

    Dump Lalas, sell or trade Ruiz, and try and salvage a backline. This team is capable of scoring 3 goals a game if they had any semblance of a defense to allow less than two goals a game.

  26. Eugene says:

    Hey Steve, my facts are straight. The Red Bulls may have made the last 5 play-offs, but some of those were barely made. And the team doesn’t look like it’s making the play-offs this year. Furthermore, when they did make the play-offs they haven’t been a contender.

    I’m a Red Bulls fan and I still think LA are doing better than NY this year. So what LA missed the play-offs last year. This year they are third in the western conference standings and are potentially 2 wins away from being in first. It’s not a disaster by any stretch of the imagination.

    The offense is working, the midfield is ok, if they can lock down the defense and goalkeeping to stop bleeding goals they will get right back on track.

    All teams go through streaks, its not like their lack of wins have hurt them in the standings. They have plenty of games and plenty of talent to turn the situation around.

    My point about the Red Bulls is that LA is not a perennial underperformer. Last five play-off appearances or not, LA has two championships under its belt.

  27. Mike Caramba says:

    Personally, I never thought the Galaxy’s choice of manager was a good one. No doubt he was a great player, but his managerial credentials were questionable, to say the least. The Galaxy (Lalas?) obviously wanted a “big name” hire instead of a more fit, lesser known coach.

    That said, I think Lalas is the bigger problem here. Going after Beckham was admirable and I hope it has its intended effect in the end (soccer’s growth in America). But this club has become entirely about flash and name–not about fielding a top-quality, well-rounded MLS team. I believe Lalas is at the core of this problem and it’s time for him to go.

    It comes down to one issue–while I think the Galaxy could have hired a better manager, Gullit could still prove to be acceptable. Lalas, on the other hand, is the GM version of Thomas Rongen–at one time promising, but turns out to be a black whole who destroys every club he touches. I guess that means he’s going to get canned by the Galaxy then end up as a USSF lifer…

  28. Eugene says:

    You know, it’s interesting to me that with all this potential demand for Zach Thornton — from Chivas, from LA, potentially from DC — that NY couldn’t have made a better trade. “Future considerations” my ass. NY should have gotten a good player for Thornton or should have gotten the first spot in the allocation order so that they could have signed Gibbs.

    Real poor trade by the NY front office. I think they will have to answer for this one by the end of the season.

  29. Michael F. says:

    I’m not backing him and saying he should stay but didn’t he win 2 MLS CUps running the Quakes? What he did at RBNY was enough to get him fired then, sure. LA is a two palyer team right now, who else is there to blame? Later, Lalas.

  30. Kevin M says:

    Fire everyone. Then… I think Bruce Arena is available.

  31. Scott A says:

    If I were in charge and wanted LA to win…I’d keep Gullit and get rid of Lalas assuming a competent GM is available. And then try to build a more complete team. And then beg MLS to raise the salary cap by a lot so I can bring in more players

  32. Nic says:

    Lalas is the guy to fire. Although Gullit can be abrasive at times, I still think he’s doing a good job with a really unbalanced squad.

  33. isaac says:

    Im not so sure but if Lalas had any thing to do with the Chris Albright trade then yes he needs to go. I mean LA already has a sucky defense. albright was a veteran and all they had left was Xavier. and now hes gone too! there is a reason LA has let in the Most goals of any team in the league.

  34. Dominghosa says:

    Lalas. Save Gullit’s firing for another season when he actually has more than four MLS-caliber players on his roster

  35. Steve says:

    Can Anschutz and Lieweke fire themselves? They’ve worked their butt off to get the top of that roster, but painted themselves into a corner and can’t improve the team. They have no cap space and Ruiz is untradeable due to his contract and they can’t afford to give up a singe player that would have any value to another team because there are only about three of them.

    So basically they can fire anyone they want and it doesn’t change a thing. They’re screwed.

    If I were Anschutz I’d be in Beckham’s ear. I watch the gals when I can though not consistently and I feel like they’re getting about 15 minutes of solid play a match. He needs to step up.

  36. SC says:

    Ives,

    You can’t make an Article on why Jeff Agoos should be Fired?

  37. Will says:

    Considering the horrible team they have and the impressive standing they hold, Lalas should be fired immediately and Gullit should stay.

    No brainer. And any of you half-wits who disagree are further proving your status as half-wits.

    American soccer fans are brainless.

  38. Will says:

    And for comment number two, do you actually think AEG gives a f&*k if they Galaxy are winning? It’s a miracle to have the business advantage they have with their respective overall quality.

  39. Tom says:

    Is there some technicality that has prevented the Galaxy from releasing or trading Ruiz and freeing up some cap space to put together a back four?

  40. Matt M says:

    At the KO of LA’s next game on the 14th, they could be in 6th place. This despite having the biggest payroll in the MLS.

    I usually don’t call for coach’s heads as you need time to turn things around but if I were an LA fan (and I most definitely am not), I’d be demanding a change.

  41. Brant says:

    Guillit can only do so much with a roster that seems worthy of the contempt he shows them. Outside of signing Beckham, Lalas has yet to make a move that I’ve heard anyone really defend in public.

    Ruiz?

    K-Mart?

    Findley?

    Albright?

    Yallop?

    Maybe the best move he’s made was how he handled the Cobi Jones farewell tour and started Cobi’s coaching career.

    but I have to believe that someone’s looking at the Galaxy and wondering what happened to the players… and that’s *not* the coach’s fault.

  42. Big D says:

    Gullit isn’t to blame at this point – he’s only had half a season, and really wasn’t allowed to bring in any players due to salary cap issues. The real problem is the structure of the roster – the team clearly needs an athletic center back, and veteran defensive mid that can cover some ground, an experienced left wing, and at the very least another competent keeper to push Cronin for the starting position. A lot to ask for at this stage of the season. Lalas would seem to be the logical candidate to blame for this mess, not Gullit. If no one is fired this week, don’t forget that the Galaxy’s next game is the SuperClassico against Chivas USA – a loss in that game would certainly lead to some changes if the San Jose loss wasn’t enough.

  43. Matt M says:

    Tom,

    Ruiz has a contract and can’t be summarily dropped. It’s questionable whether any other team wants to use up $400K of their $2.5 Mill salary cap on him either so a trade is unlikely.

    I’ve never been enamored with Gullit. It may not be fair but anytime a big foreign coaching name shows up, they seem to expect the European rules: That they should be able to spend 10 times more than the rest of the league on payroll and then have everyone tell them what a great coach they are when they win.

    That’s why few foreign coaches do well if they don’t have some background in MLS or the US system. Though they may be very smart soccer minds, managing with constraints is an alien concept.

    Gullit always seemed to be hired not for his coaching skills but he fit Lalas’s “Sexy Soccer” image.

    My guess is he will go the same way as Osorio. This year or next, he’ll go back to where he came from in frustration at the “backwards” American system that didn’t allow them to succeed.

  44. Matt M says:

    Brant / Big D,

    I don’t believe Gullit should be fired but lets not say he hasn’t had his chance to revamp the team.

    He was around to bring in Ruiz, Domingez (or whatever his name is) and Alvaro. Only Buddle’s freak scoring spree (that is probably now over) kept them out of competing with San Jose for last place this year.

    I believe he also was around for Cannon’s trade. Obviously Cronin isn’t ready. He may be someday as he does make some good saves but promptly follows up with a laugher.

    I don’t know of any real good moves under Gullit’s watch. Only the drafting of Franklin comes to mind and I don’t know how much he had to do with that.

  45. Sticky says:

    Will said: “American soccer fans are brainless.”

    Proof – Will’s next comment re: AEG:

    “It’s a miracle to have the business advantage they have with their respective overall quality.”

    Uh, yeah, like, the language is called English. WTF are you saying dude? Put down the drink and think it through before you press “Post.”

  46. inkedAG says:

    Considering that Lalas has ruined three different franchises, he should be the one to go.

    All in all, this is just so much fun! HAHAHAHAHA on LA and their three DPs! :D

  47. cbr says:

    lalas is a clown. Do you guys remember “The Ripper” Garipe?

  48. Ivan says:

    MattM

    Who traded Cannon and brought in Ruiz and Pires, I wasn’t Gullitt. Just because they were brought in when Gullitt was there doesn’t mean he had a say in bringing them here (or in Cannon’s case, trading them away). Ruud probably never even of them until they stepped onto the pitch.

    Granted Ruud should’ve played Dominguez against San Jose to see how he would fare in his second MLS game, but overall, Ruud has done a solid job with the personnel he’s had to work with.

    It’s not Ruud fault some over-zealous rookie took a cheap-shot at Ruiz in the season opener and is thus not really in top form yet, or that Pires has proven to be a complete bust, or that Cronin is going through his trial by fire at GK.

  49. el gran avispon says:

    Michael F: Lalas had nothing to do with either Quakes championships…Tom Neale was GM in 2001 and the incomparable Johnny Moore in 2003..

  50. Jamie Z. says:

    Amid all this criticism, I would at least like to offer Lalas some due respect for cutting his hair short and keeping it short.

  51. randall says:

    wow, you defend reyna and the hapless red bulls for two years and a six game losing streak means massive changes have to take place in l.a.?

    interesting…

    lalas is a complete bafoon- everyone knows that- problem being apparently mls owners feel that the face that anyone “knows” him at all is reason enough to hire him.

    he makes ridiculous moves (generally decent young players for guys about five years past their mediocre prime) and is a general embarrasment as a representative of u.s. soccer.

    fire him? ok, sure. but absolutely nothings changed here. again- the contrast between this post and, well, every post about nyrb in the last years is striking.

    arguably the best (on field) designated player in the league, best young american player, best american player period, best american coach ever- and theyve done far, far less than l.a. over the last few years.

    i dont have a horse in this race, and i know its not unbiased journalism here- but this is very surprising.

    theres no crisis- l.a. is an overhyped team that doesnt get results…just like n.y.

    its just shocking how differently youve addressed those two very similar situations.

  52. Ben says:

    Whoever is in charge for player in’s and out’s – has to go.

    Pick your fall guy(s) but keep in mind, we do NOT know who is responsible, we can only guess!

    btw Gullit’s house is for sale because his wife doesn’t like it (don’t laugh, it was reported)

    K-Mart = he’s gotissues, otherwise he’d play for another MLS team by now (injuries, stupid cards, not a regular performer)

    Klein / Findley+Sturgis

    Sturgis has played how many games since then? (just days ago it was reported he has serious injury probs that can’t be cured just like that). Both Klein(would do better in midfield) and Findley have done well. To me that’s an almost fair trade (if you keep the age thing out of it).

    Getting rid of Hartman, Gomez, Ihemelu for draftpicks and Cannon, then getting rid of Cannon for draftpick(s) = That’s CRIMINAL!

    Getting rid of Albright in order to make space for Ruiz, debatable in terms of quality but bl**dy stupid when you consider the defense is so bad and unproven.

    As for Solano = no thanks (he’s not what the team needs and wants a lot of $, otherwise he’d be here already.

  53. Ives says:

    Randall, I’m not really sure what the Red Bulls have to do with this conversation but since you brought them up, let’s compare:

    The Red Bulls have made the playoffs the past five seasons, yet have seen three different managing director/presidents and three different head coaches in the past three seasons. In other words, the Red Bulls haven’t had nearly the struggles that LA has had in the past three seasons yet the club has still had considerably more turnover.

    Meanwhile, the Galaxy has had Lalas in charge for most of those three seasons and have yet to make the playoffs since he’s been there. Let me say that a little more slowly. The Galaxy has missed the playoffs the past two seasons, with a third looking like a distinct possibility. Now they have Gullit, who they made the league’s highest-paid coach, and he doesn’t seem to have made much of a positive impact with the club based on the results.

    When you take these things into account, AND you consider the rumblings that AEG is very unhappy with the club, it is a very fair question to ask who, if anybody, do people think should get the boot in LA. These facts also make your LA-NY comparison one not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

    Now Randall, if you really did read my writing on a regular basis (and I don’t think you have based on the fact that you have never once posted on this site before) you would know how off-base your comments are regarding my writings about the Red Bulls. In the past three years I roundly crititicized Alexi Lalas for firing Bob Bradley, wrote about Red Bull’s mismanagement of the club under Marc deGrandpre and most recently ripped the club’s decision to hire its new managing director. So how exactly have I let the Red Bulls off the hook? Please tell me, I’m dying to hear that one.

    And lastly, your “and i know its not unbiased journalism here” line is weak. I’ve got nothing against Lalas or Gullit, just presenting a question to my readers.

  54. papa bear says:

    the notion that Ruud should be in any kind of jeopardy simply seems absurd. The problems LA are having are personnel issues. He doesn’t handle those.

    The onus is squarely on the shoulders of Lalas. He was terrible in NY and he is just as terrible in LA.

    In fact, the fact that he began this season employed is the biggest failing AEG has made and only have themselves to blame.

  55. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Noby Solano? Last time I checked, he neither plays in goal nor in defense. Clip Lalas and Bravo and start again.

  56. Chrös says:

    For the mistakes that Lalas has made, regardless I think it is important to have him active in the league in some capacity. As an intern at a newspaper I had to talk to Lalas for a relatively small story, and from that and everything I have read, he is very accessible. I won’t forget seeing him go onto Fox Football Fone-In and taking hard questions from the hosts, because he said he knew it was good for the game to do that. I strongly agree.

    So with everything Lalas might have done wrong in terms of building a team, I think his image and accessibility and endless desire to enhance the league are so important to the league’s growth.

    As a Minnesotan with no MLS affiliation, I just want to see the league improve and get better. If a controversial guy like Lalas can be in a position to keep people talking without actually harming the league, I am all for it.

  57. dan boleo says:

    Lalas should be fired, but that won’t improve results for LA this season; it’ll just keep him from making more boneheaded moves in the future. The problem is LA has mediocre players outside of Beckham and Donovan. You can’t win with two good players. Maybe Gullit should be fired too, but the new coach will still have a subpar team to work with.

  58. Adam M. says:

    Whoever is repsonsible for not bringing in someone who can defend should go. I doubt that is Rudd. As for the “doesn’t know the MLS” notion, I’d say MLS needs more people who don’t know the MLS, not less.

  59. Felix says:

    Keep Ruud, fire Lalas and his we need more attacking players even though our defense stinks strategy and get some help on that backline. A couple of more players will make this team competitive.

  60. Nick says:

    La La Lalas. La La Lalas … Hey hey gooodbyye! That man has got to go! Ruud definitely deserves at MINIMUM, a slap on the wrist for not getting a better effort out of this team, but Lalas fingerprints are all over this squad and they are underachieving in the worst way.

  61. TCompton says:

    If Tim Lieweke doesn’t dismiss Alexi Lalas, then AEG’s board of directors should take a good look at their President/CEO.

    Alexi Lalas’ resume prior to 2003 was spectaluar. But since his time in San Jose and New York, Lalas’ record for success is far from spectacular.

    Year W- L- D Club

    2004 9 -10-11 San Jose Earthquakes

    2005 12- 9-11 New York MetroStars

    2006 11-15- 6 Los Angeles Galaxy

    2007 9 -14- 7 Los Angeles Galaxy

    In 2003, San Jose won MLS Cup. Then Lalas took over. A year later, they moved to Houston.

    The New York period can be somewhat forgiveable. It really seems that AEG gave up on New York a while back. Lalas surely isn’t the first GM to fail there.

    In 2005, the Galaxy won MLS Cup. In 2006, they welcomed Lalas into their fold. The Galaxy hasn’t seen the playoffs since.

  62. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    The CM is in shams, fix that and you’ve fixed a big part of the problem. Me?, I move S. Franklin to DMid playing behind behind Tudela (yes Tudela since we’ve tried everyone else there and Tudela had a good run last year). I try B. Jordan at the Left Mid spot to see if I can free up some space with his speed, stay with Buddle up top and Donovan playing behind him.

    Franklin has enough bite to be a good dMid and played there in College. Dominguez then has to step up with the big boys.

    This sends Pires, Vanegas, Randolph to the bench.

  63. law4 says:

    As long as Galaxy keeps on selling out the HDC, Lalas will have a job. Results aren’t as important to AEG, note the past couple of galaxy seasons.

    Coaching changes are made to appease the STH and the few savy galaxy fans. Capitalism does not care about sport results.

  64. John says:

    I have nothing but contempt for Lalas–he’s a fool. That said, Gullit has a lot more impact on how they’re playing. Buddle has always shown the ability to blow hot and cold. A hot streak by EB is the only reason the LAG aren’t the worst team in all of MLS. But Gullit was responsible for bringing in Babayaro (who didn’t even last the preseason) and was initially comfortable with Xavier (who was a disaster from the git-go). He blew off the draft (and given LAG’s cap situation and depth last year, you knew that the only way they were going to add depth was through the draft and USL signings).

    Furthermore, with a young and limited backline and no competent D-mid, he insists on playing a scheme that pushes players forward and exposes defenders.

    Ultimately, anyone can tell you that if you effectively have two DP players (and LAG has 3–Ruiz, Donovan and Beckham) you’d better have a lot of great bargains, good young talent, guys who don’t get hurt (cuz you won’t have a lot of depth). And LAG has none of those 3 (ie: great bargains, good young talent and guys who are iron-men). So instead they’re a pub team with a few youngsters and Donovan and Beckham with a hot Buddle.

    It was a sign to me that Donovan expressed interest in playing in Europe. This from the guy who made it clear he loves being in California. If suddenly he’s talking “maybe Europe isn’t such a bad idea” that tells you things are messy with the LAG.

  65. Tim says:

    I wonder how people can say that Alexi Lalas ruined three franchises? I find that kind of funny. Yes, he was at the helm of the San Jose Earthquakes when they picked up and moved to Houston, but he can not be blamed for that. He was there for two years and it was obvious AEG was trying to pull the team out of the market and yet he was the one taking all the hits for it. Also, the last time I checked, in the last year of there first existance, San Jose ran away with the Supporters Shield and it is the same foundation of the team the he built that have won back to back MLS Cups in Houston.

    To say he ruined the Metrostars is kind of joke. He was there less than a year, Red Bull bought the team in March less than 8 months after Alexi’s move to NY. Saddled with Salary Cap issues, they drafted Marvell Wynne with the first pick in the draft that year and Jozy Altidore in the second round to start building a foundation of success. He was let go by Red Bull in April. I am still trying to figure out how, as everyone says, he ruined NY?

    His stint in LA has been less than remarkable, but it seems that it is a circus there and it will be hard for any GM to deal with the Beckham show.

    Just my opinion, but I reiterate that saying Alexi Lalas RUINED three franchises is a statement ignoring fact.

  66. Barcus says:

    It seems to me that the weakest part of the Galaxy is the defense. Their defenders keep allowing goals that would be excruciating to watch if your club allowed them. Their keeper hasn’t shown many flashes of brilliance this season, either. Their offense is fun to watch and I think that if their defense would provide ANY support, they’d do much better.

  67. Nicole says:

    Lieweke is the one who needs to be removed. Let him go “run” something else; he has no idea how to run a sports franchise.

    The Galaxy get “blown up” – massive roster/coaching changes – all the time looking for a quick fix. What it needs is stability.

  68. Mike Caramba says:

    @Will

    American soccer fans are stupid for saying Gullit should be fired and Lalas should stay…

    There is literally one comment that might be read as “Fire Gullit, keep Lalas” (although Lalas isn’t mentioned–the poster is just questioning Gullit’s managerial skills)

    Every other on-topic comment suggests Lalas should definitely be fired and Gullit should be given more time. (note: many question Gullit’s coaching credentials (rightfully), but none goes as far as to claim he should be fired over Lalas)

    Maybe you’re reading a different comments section…

  69. Chrös says:

    I really don’t know why everybody is up in arms specifically after this loss. Goff has a poll on the subject on his blog, too.

    We all know that it is rare for any MLS team to be dominant throughout a whole season. That’s just not how the league is set up. The Galaxy, for the players they have, are right where they should be in the table. The only cause for concern is that the list of results hasn’t been balanced.

    It’s quite clear that the only reason this is even an issue is because of Beckham. The Galaxy haven’t underachieved this season any more than Houston or D.C. or New York or Chivas USA, and those teams all had higher expectations pre season. Sure, the Galaxy have lost a couple in a row right now, but realistically they are still probably going to make the playoffs.

    I guess I just don’t see why a losing streak triggers firing a GM. Nobody is going to turn the Galaxy into the Revolution by the end of this season. If they still don’t make the playoffs this year, then you fire Lalas.

  70. MiamiAl says:

    Alexi Lalas has done the greatest feat in MLS history- he brought David Beckham to the league! I don’t care what anyone says, he accomplished what the league was dreaming about for years. And he got Beckham here two years before they had anticipated getting his services to boot…Plus he is a young executive that MLS has invested quite a bit with. To me, Ruud, has been the one that seemed pessimistic about the MLS in general from the onset and never really believed that MLS is a decent quality league. He has looked like being here in the US has been some kind of torture; if that is the case, let Ruud go!!!…to DC UNITED!

  71. Matt K says:

    It should be Lalas. He calls the shots on trades and things like that. The offense is great, but the defense has been horrible, and Lalas has not been doing anything since the transfer window opened.

  72. Thom says:

    1. Fire Lalas

    2. Most likely fire Gullit after season because it makes little sense to do it now in terms of what could gained with the poor talent and salary cap situation.

    3. Get rid of Ruiz for whatever can be recouped. Also dump Vanney, Venegas, Franchino, Gordon, Pires (maybe even Klein and I have always admired him) etc. Why- all have experience and so their salaries free up cap space added to the fact that whatever they are paid is not worth it.

    4. Sell Donavon in winter transfer window and take what you can get.

    5. Sign a proven if average keeper who has the force of personality and experience to organize a back line ( i.e.- competent- I thought about mentioning Keller but he would cost way too much and would only be a temporary band aid at his age)

    6. Bring in football/soccer lifer from Europe or Argentina – pay a Steve Nichol type to consult (or better yet hire him since he is never going to get a stadium in New England)

    6. Give up sexy football until backline and “spine” can be rebuilt.

    7. Be a football club and not a sexy, marketing footprint.

    8. Offer Beckham a substantial minority position of ownership so he can attract his ilk and brand the franchise with his money not AEG’s. Also maybe he will renegotiate with himself to lower his cap hit!

    Question to board: Does anyone know what a Nichols or Dominic Kinner makes a year as well as their respective GM’s?

    If so take that and divide it into what Gullit and Lalas make and please let us all know the difference. This will be a very interesting number to all of us out here. For what they are paid there has got to be some quality professionals out there that know how to evaluate talent and then properly deploy it tactically.

    Thanks in advance.

  73. Chrös says:

    —–
    Posted by Thom

    1. Fire Lalas

    2. Most likely fire Gullit after season because it makes little sense to do it now in terms of what could gained with the poor talent and salary cap situation.

    —–
    This is the logic that makes no sense.

    The team is not going to be overhauled this season. If you absolutely have to fire one of them right now — which they absolutely don’t — then the coach is much more directly correlated to how the team plays this season.