Color me shocked, but Doug Hamilton pulled the trigger and fired Galaxy head coach, Sigi Schmid. I cannot see Sigi's biggest critics expecting this call to be made now. LA are still top of the league thanks to performances from their nearest rivals worse than we saw at the HDC. So, why now?
From my midfield seat in the Upper Deck at the HDC, something did not look right. This was the fist time in over a month I was able to see the Galaxy live. The team looked like a collection of individuals who would only send the ball down the wing, cross in into the middle and hope for the best. The team was not on the same page at all. Then Kirovski runs straight to the locker room when he was substituted which just seemed strange at the time.
Then, add in the reported bust-up between Suarez and Herzog last week and things start to make since.
Fortunately, my friend Ben Bird connected all the dots for me on The Hitchhikers Guide
So, you have a coach who led your organization to all of their silverware who seems to have lost control of the team over the last year and a half. What does Doug Hamilton do? He does the right thing and lets Sigi look for another job. It is a lot easier to replace the coach than half the squad right.
There is never a good time to fire a coach (or anyone from any job) regardless of how well the team is performing. It probably would have been easier for Hamilton to replace Sigi at the end of last season. Start fresh, new season and all that. But Hamilton did what I felt was the right thing…He gave a coach who had brought the Club's only success a chance to right things. He was doing that for the first half of the season.
Something must have happened since the last home match. I have no idea what it was though. I guess I will have to wait for Cobi to write his "Tell-All" book on the events-I am still waiting on one about the '98 WC team. But in retrospect, you can see that things just weren't right with the players and they were no longer a team.
If all my assumptions about what happened in anyway correct, Doug Hamilton had no other choice but to make the change he did.
So, now comes the difficult part for Hamilton. He has to find Sigi's replacement. This will not be easy. He is not exactly the most popular person on Victoria Street. He has to bring in a coach that will be able to rebuild a team with eight regular season matches left. If the coach does not perform, it could really hurt things at the turnstiles. It is not like there is a roommate moving into the HDC trying to take away his business or anything.
Much has been made about signing Hong Myung-bo. It has always been accepted by Galaxy fans that Hamilton was more interested in bringing to Korean to LA than Schmid. The coach did not exactly give "Bo" much playing time and the defender was collecting a league maximum salary while watching from the sidelines. You cannot tell me Sigi and Doug did not have a difference of opinion here.
Regardless of each fan's opinion on Schmid, Herzog brought a new dimension to the side. The season started well with him taking over the role Cienfuegos has owned for most of the first 8 seasons of the league. Herzog was widely accepted to have been a purchase Sigi wanted.
So, do we really want Doug Hamilton to be deciding who the best coach for the Galaxy should be?
Well, as long as it is not Steve Sampson. Did I mention I'm waiting for a "Tell-All" book about what really happened during the '98 World Cup?
What? You are kidding
. Hamilton seems to think the coach who lost control of the team during the 98 World Cup is going to turn things around in LA.
In true AEG fashion, it now appears the new coach was "waiting in the wings" when the old coach is sacked.
What was looking like a positive move the Hamilton has just proven it is business as usual in the AEG offices. It took less than 2 days to find a replacement. Are we to believe that Hamilton meet with all the best available candidates in that time? Sounds to me like Sampson was already lined-up to take over the reigns before Schmid was replaced.
Okay, so things were not as great at the HDC as they should be. However, while a change seems to have been needed, I just cannot get excited about this one.