The LA Galaxy fired Guillermo Barros
Schelotto on Thursday.
The move came less than 24 hours after the Galaxy lost to the Portland Timbers, 5-2. As it has throughout much of the season, the Galaxy looked terrible, dropping its eighth game in its last nine outings.
The MLS playoff format is forgiving. Even after the loss that left the Galaxy in last place in the Western Conference with three games to play in the regular season, it was not yet out of contention for a postseason berth. A long shot, for sure, but still alive.
"We have some possibilities," Schelotto said after Wednesday's game. 'We need to win these three games and wait for all the results to get to playoffs."
He won't get to wait and see what happens.
Assistant coach Dominic Kinnear will serve as interim coach for the last three games of the season. If that sounds familiar, Kinnear was the assistant in 2018 when the late Sigi Schmid stepped down with six games to play, and Kinnear took over to finish the season.
Schelotto's firing brings to four the number of coaching moves the Galaxy has made in the last four years.
It isn't as bad as the period of 2004-08 when the Galaxy went through five coaches -- Schmid, Steve Sampson, Frank Yallop, Ruud Gullit and interim coach Cobi Jones -- before it settled on Bruce Arena. In the next six years, the Galaxy played in four MLS Cups, won three league titles and captured two Supporters' Shields.
Since then, the Galaxy has not finished better than third in the regular season or advanced beyond the quarterfinals in the postseason. Even worse have been some high-profile personnel moves the Galaxy has made.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was great in his two seasons with the Galaxy (52 goals in 56 games), though he covered up lots of problems throughout the Galaxy lineup. But Javier Hernandez has been one of the biggest busts in MLS history (one goal in 692 minutes). Steven Gerrard wasn't much better in his year and a half under Arena in Carson.
Galaxy fans have grown increasingly impatient, especially since LAFC arrived in Los Angeles and won the 2019 Supporters' Shield in swash-buckling style.
So far, the top executives in Galaxy management have kept their jobs, including Chris Klein, named president in January 2013, and Dennis te Kloese, hired as general manager in December 2018.
“A lot of things that we saw as positive last year, we haven’t been able to capitalize [on] this year,” Te Kloese, who brought in Schelotto, said of the Argentine's second season. “That doesn’t take away responsibility from anybody nor my responsibility.”
Will AEG make any changes to management? The record around the league suggests not. MLS coaches are replaced with greater frequency -- six during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, five in 2020 -- but MLS clubs are very forgiving when it comes to management and sporting disasters.
The only general manager fired in recent years for his club's poor results was Mike Burns, who lost his job at New England in 2019 when the Revs dumped head coach Brad Friedel and brought in Arena to run the team.