CARSON, Calif. – The five-time MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy will be without head coach Sigi Schmid in its desperate, late-season battle for a postseason berth after Schmid abruptly resigned Monday.
The winningest head coach in MLS history with 266 total victories, two MLS Cups and five U.S. Open Cup titles announced he was stepping down from the position he took over from Curt Onalfo last July. Assistant coach Dominic Kinnear, third in all-time MLS wins behind only Schmid and former Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, was named interim coach for the rest of the season.
“After careful consideration, I have decided to step away from coaching at this time, but would like to remain in the game,” Schmid said in a statement released by the club. “I understand the timing of this decision is unfortunate. However, I believe this group can come together and fight for a spot this season under Dom’s guidance.
“I am grateful to the LA Galaxy for being such a significant part of my life and my career.”
The Galaxy, who are winless in their last six matches following a nine-game unbeaten streak earlier this season, are three points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot.
“We are certainly looking forward to the last six games of our season,” Galaxy president Chris Klein said Monday. “We’re confident in Dominic Kinnear as an interim manager and feel he has the tools to fight for a playoff spot.
“We understand the uphill battle we have. As a club, we’re going to keep fighting. We will start our search for our next permanent head coach immediately.”
Schmid led the Galaxy to its first MLS Cup title in 2002 and also was in charge of the team’s personnel in 2018. He even brought in his son Kurt to boost the scouting department. Klein said the upcoming search possibly could include the combination of head coach/general manager duties. Arena held those jobs after he replaced head coach Ruud Gullit and general manager Alexi Lalas in August of 2008, but he left the club to take over the U.S. men’s national team in November of 2016.
“We are looking at all of it,” Klein said of the upcoming coaching search. “We are evaluating what will position the LA Galaxy to be the standard as a club in our league.
“There are many names we know that do both. Some do one or the other. And we want the best at each position to position our club to be at the top. We’re looking at all of it.”
Klein disputed the notion that Schmid and the front office did not see eye to eye – “There’s always discussions that happen, but we had a great working relationship with Sigi,” he said – but, like Schmid, he admitted the timing of the announcement didn’t exactly cast a positive light on the struggling franchise.
“A change during the season is never ideal,” he said. “That is a concern, but Dominic knows this team well. He knows the group and knows what’s needed.
“Is it good timing? Is it bad timing? It can be looked at both ways. We’re hopeful there’s a possible injection of energy into the group and with getting some players back it can shift the momentum.
“The reality is we just don’t know,” he continued. “But we are hoping it’s a good thing for us.”
Klein also was asked if there could be any future changes in the front office.
“The objective right now is finishing the last six games of the season and hopefully the playoffs,” he said. “We need to take inventory of the way we do things on the soccer side.
“We’re constantly evaluating that and looking for ways we can get better, and we know that we can. There’s nothing specific we can point to right now, but that evaluation is taking place.”