LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – With 13 games remaining in what has been a disappointing season thus far, the Los Angeles Galaxy have fired head coach Curt Onalfo and turned to a familiar face hoping for a spark.
The team announced Thursday that it is replacing Onalfo with the experienced Sigi Schmid, former two-time MLS Coach of the Year and the winningest coach in MLS history.
The German-born Schmid managed the Galaxy from 1999 to 2004, winning an MLS Cup in 2002.
Schmid’s first match will be Saturday at home against the Seattle Sounders.
After his stint with the Galaxy, the 64-year-old Schmid coached the Columbus Crew from 2006 from 2008, and the Seattle Sounders from 2009 to 2016. He’s compiled a regular season record of 228-165-113. He won a second MLS Cup with Columbus in 2008.
Prior to that, he coached the UCLA Bruins from 1980 to 1999, winning three national titles.
“Sigi is one of the most experienced coaches in the history of soccer in the United States and he is an extremely successful manager that has proven himself to be a winner within Major League Soccer,” Galaxy President Chris Klein said in a statement.
Onalfo’s stint as Galaxy head coach lasted less than a season. He was hired in December to replace Bruce Arena, who was rehired to lead the United States men’s national team.
In 20 games, Onalfo compiled a record of 6-4-10. The Galaxy currently sit in ninth place in the Western Conference, five points back from Vancouver, who currently hold the final playoff spot.
The Brazilian-born Onalfo began his professional playing career in 1991, with stints at clubs in France and Mexico. The defender was drafted by the Galaxy in their inaugural 1996 season and appeared in 13 games. He went on to play for the San Jose Earthquakes and D.C. United before retiring in 1999. He moved into coaching in 2001 as an assistant for D.C. United.
Before replacing Arenas, he spent the previous two seasons as the head coach of the LA Galaxy II, the Galaxy’s United Soccer League affiliate.
“Curt Onalfo has been a loyal servant to the Galaxy and Galaxy II for a number of seasons and we wish him well,” Klein said.