Editorial (January 17, 2017) – After a whirlwind of an off-season, the LA Galaxy finally have their coaching staff in place. Curt Onalfo has been appointed his head coach. He has promoted his LA Galaxy II staff and former Galaxy player Ante Razov as his staff. Academy Director Mike Muñoz will be the head coach of Los Dos.
LA Galaxy Coaching Hires: Promoting Continuity But Still Economical And Inexperienced
All of these hires are within the Galaxy organization except Razov, and all of them are within the umbrella of the Galaxy family. That said, like other decisions the club has made this off-season, these moves are very economical in nature.
Onalfo was most probably a cheaper hire than going after a Sigi Schmidt or current MLS head coach. Peter Vagenas went from being VP of Soccer Operations to General Manager. That’s more a side step than a promotion. While both of these changes could have led to raises for the staff, they certainly aren’t making the money that a Garth Lagerwey or a Patrick Vieira.
The same can be said for the other coaching hires. Rob Becerra has no MLS level coaching experience prior to joining Onalfo at Los Dos. Daniel Gonzalez hasn’t coached goalkeepers at the MLS level in several years.
Both of them are right to say this is the biggest opportunity of their lives.
Razov is moving from one MLS assistant coach position to another, so his salary is probably about the same. That said, as the assumed second in command of the first team, he’ll certainly be making less than the former Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan.
While all of these options are economical and a bit inexperienced, they do have a good amount of continuity. Only Razov hasn’t worked with everyone else before. That said, he does have an MLS Cup to his resume as a coach with the Seattle Sounders last season. He’s been there for two years, and should bring some needed experience to the coaching staff.
The good news for the Galaxy is that rest of the coaching staff is familiarity with each other. Onalfo and his staff have continued to have success with Los Dos even when they’ve lost key players like Raul Mendiola, Daniel Steres, and Jack McBean. They know the young players better than anyone else in the organization. If anyone can get the kids MLS ready, it’s them.
Furthermore, Muñoz completes the cycle that the Galaxy have been working on for years. In moving from academy director to Los Dos head coach, he is in position to bridge the gap for players from the academy to the USL side. Onalfo is best suited to bridge the gap between Los Dos and the Galaxy.
While it was on the cheap side, the Galaxy finally have the continuity to streamline the path for players to develop from the academy to the first team. That’s something for the club to get excited about.