The LA Galaxy announced today, via a conference call with President Chris Klein, that Pete Vagenas has officially been named to the General Manager position.
Pete Vagenas will be announced as General Manager for the LA Galaxy, according to Alexi Lalas and Kevin Baxter. The naming comes just a week after long-time Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena left the club to take over the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT).
The @LAGalaxy today will announce that Peter Vagenas has been promoted to G.M. First order of business, hire a new coach.
— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) November 28, 2016
#LAGalaxy to introduce Peter Vagenas as its new general manager this morning, replacing Bruce Arena. Coaching vacancy is still open.
— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) November 28, 2016
Vagenas, a former LA Galaxy player, originally drafted by the club in 2000, is the current VP of Soccer Operations for the team. In his playing career, He scored 14 goals, made 173 appearances, and was captain of the 2005 MLS Cup winning side, winning it in 2002, as well (both for the LA Galaxy). After departing from Los Angeles Vagenas finished his playing career by going on to the Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps, and finally, Chivas USA.
The LA Galaxy are going through a tough offseason with two of their Designated Players leaving — Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard — as well as losing Arena and more than likely, most of their coaching staff to the USMNT.
It’s been assumed that Vagenas was working directly with Bruce Arena during his time with the LA Galaxy as VP of Soccer Operations and is familiar with the daily duties of what the General Manager will need to do. And for a team that is looking to transition, perhaps someone familiar with the organization will be best.
But it’s certainly not a given that Vagenas will be able to make the transition seamlessly and that he has the experience for the job. This is his first General Manager job and he’ll be in charge of reconstructing a roster that is full of holes.
And he’ll need to start by signing the biggest piece of the puzzle — the head coach. And any struggle or falter he makes in signing new DP’s or getting the best candidate for the head coaching position will be magnified by the high profile nature of the LA Galaxy.
It’s been rumored that the person in the best position to get the Head Coaching job is LA Galaxy Assistant Coach and LA Galaxy II Head Coach, Curt Onalfo. It will be up to Klein and Vagenas to determine if another internal promotion is warranted or if the team is better off going outside the club.
The LA Galaxy will hold a telephone press conference on Monday at 11:30 AM to discuss the General Manager and Head Coaching vacancies. LA Galaxy President, Chris Klein, will preside over the call that will be attended by members of the media.