The Los Angeles Galaxy began the new post-Bruce Arena era by hiring a coach from within the organization's own ranks, as the club today named Curt Onalfo head coach. Onalfo, 47, led LA Galaxy II to a 41-20-25 record, three-straight playoff berths, and the 2015 USL Western Conference Championship over the last three seasons in the United Soccer League.
Onalfo, who played for the Galaxy in their inaugural 1996 season and has over 10 years of experience in MLS, has won an MLS Cup as both a player and a coach.
“I am extremely excited and honored to become head coach of the LA Galaxy,” said Onalfo. “From my time as a player and a coach here, I know that this is the preeminent soccer club in the United States and I look forward to leading this team going forward. We have put together a fully-realized developmental system for our players and we will continue to be aggressive in signing world-class talent in order to build the most complete roster to compete for MLS Cup titles each season.”
After spending time as an assistant coach for the United States Men’s National Team, the head coach for Sporting Kansas City and the head coach D.C. United, Onalfo joined the Galaxy coaching staff in 2011 before LA captured the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cups.
In 2014, he was named Head Coach of LA Galaxy II for their inaugural season. During his time as Head Coach of LA Galaxy II in USL, Onalfo led the Galaxy to three-consecutive postseason berths (2014, 2015, 2016) while winning the USL Western Conference in 2015. During his 86 games over three seasons with LA Galaxy II, Los Dos scored 145 goals and earned plus-34 goal differential.
As head coach of LA Galaxy II, Onalfo helped develop current LA Galaxy players Ariel Lassiter, Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, and Clement Diop, who featured for Los Dos during his tenure. Onalfo also gave Galaxy forward Bradford Jamieson IV his professional debut.
“We have full confidence in Curt’s leadership, ability and dedication to lead the LA Galaxy as our next head coach,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein. “In addition to his experience and knowledge of Major League Soccer as both a player and a coach, Curt has an intimate understanding of the structure and culture of this club and has done a tremendous job with LA Galaxy II. We are excited for Curt to further invest in the LA Galaxy as we continue to provide him with the support and resources necessary to win MLS Cups.”
Onalfo played in Major League Soccer from 1995-1999, representing the LA Galaxy, D.C. United, and the San Jose Clash (now San Jose Earthquakes). As a member of D.C. United, Onalfo helped the club win the 1998 InterAmerican Cup and CONCACAF Champions Cup, as well as the 1999 MLS Cup before retiring at the end of that season.
After retiring from MLS, Onalfo moved into the world of coaching as an assistant coach with D.C. United in 2001. He spent two years with United before moving onto the U.S. National Team as an assistant coach. In four years with the U.S., Onalfo helped the team win the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup and qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Onalfo left the national team shortly after the 2006 World Cup and got his first heading coaching job in MLS in November 2006 when he was hired by the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City). He spent two-and-a-half seasons as the Kansas City head coach, leading the team to the postseason twice after seeing them fail to qualify for the playoffs in the two season prior to his arrival. He had a 27-29-22 record in his time with Kansas City before leaving the club in August 2009. Four months later, in December 2009, Onalfo was back in MLS as he was named the new head coach for D.C. United, replacing Tom Soehn.
Onalfo also played soccer for former Galaxy manager Bruce Arena at the University of Virginia for four seasons, where he helped the Cavaliers reach the NCAA Tournament four times and win a share of the National Championship in 1989.
Galaxy acquire rights to midfielder Miguel Aguilar
The Galaxy acquired the rights to midfielder Miguel Aguilar and a 2019 Natural 4th Round MLS SuperDraft pick from D.C. United in exchange for the club’s 2018 4th Round MLS SuperDraft pick, the club announced. Aguilar, 23, has made 23 appearances for D.C. United since being drafted in the first round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
The Mexico-born midfielder was taken by D.C. United with the 17th overall selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft before making his professional debut later that year. In his rookie season with United, Aguilar made 17 appearances with four starts during the MLS Regular Season in addition to starting in all four 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League group matches.
Aguilar's first goal for D.C. came as the game winner in the team’s 1-0 win over Árabe Unido in Aug. 2015 during the CONCACAF Champions League. He made six MLS appearances for D.C. in 2016 before being loaned to their USL affiliate Richmond Kickers, where went on to make 14 starts.
Prior to his time as a professional, Aguilar was a standout at University of San Francisco alongside current Galaxy defender Dave Romney from 2011-2014.
Galaxy exercise options on 11 players
The LA Galaxy have exercised contract options on 11 players: defender Ashley Cole, midfielder Rafael Garcia, midfielder Baggio Husidic, defender Daniel Steres, goalkeeper Clement Diop, forward Bradford Jamieson IV, defender Dave Romney, forward Ariel Lassiter, forward Jose Villarreal, midfielder Raul Mendiola, and forward Jack McBean.
The Galaxy have not exercised the contract option of Brazilian defender Leonardo.
The following players are currently out of contract: midfielder Steven Gerrard, forward Robbie Keane, forward Landon Donovan, forward Alan Gordon, midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, forward Mike Magee and defender Oscar Sorto.
That means that the LA Galaxy Roster currently is:
Goalkeepers: Brian Rowe, Dan Kennedy, Clement Diop
Defenders: A.J. DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers, Dave Romney, Ashley Cole, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme
Midfielders: Rafael Garcia, Baggio Husidic, Sebastian Lletget, Raul Mendiola, Emmanuel Boateng
Forwards: Giovani dos Santos, Bradford Jamieson IV, Jack McBean, Jose Villarreal, Ariel Lassiter, Gyasi Zardes
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services