CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy fired coach Curt Onalfo on Thursday just 20 games into his first season and re-hired veteran coach Sigi Schmid to take over the struggling MLS powerhouse.
Onalfo went 6-10-4 after being promoted from the Galaxy’s developmental squad last winter when longtime coach Bruce Arena went back to the U.S. national team.
Onalfo never got consistent results from a high-priced roster of international talent including Ashley Cole, Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, Jermaine Jones and Gyasi Zardes.
The Galaxy sit ninth in the Western Conference after losing six consecutive games across all competitions in July, including an embarrassing 4-3 loss to New England last weekend.
With mounting pressure to get results, LA Galaxy President Chris Klein scuttled his preseason plan with Onalfo and re-hired Schmid, the winningest coach in MLS history and a two-time league champion. Schmid first coached the Galaxy in 1999, and his largely successful tenure included the franchise’s first MLS Cup title in 2002.
Klein said Schmid is not an interim hire, calling him “the best person to coach our team for the remainder of this season and into the future.”
“Sigi has been one of the best coaches in the history of our league, and we have full confidence in him to lead our team moving forward,” Klein added. “Our goal remains to win trophies and be the best club in North America, and we believe that Sigi gives us the best opportunity to achieve this.”
The Galaxy host Seattle on Saturday night in a timely reunion for the 64-year-old Schmid, the only coach in Sounders history before the club fired him last summer.
The German-born Schmid grew up in the Los Angeles area and spent 28 years at UCLA as a player and coach, winning three national championships.
“In the city of Los Angeles and throughout North America, the LA Galaxy are the iconic standard of success and innovation within soccer,” Schmid said in a statement. “I am very proud to return to the Galaxy, and I know the expectations here are to win championships each year, beginning with a sixth MLS Cup.”
After leaving the Galaxy in 2004, Schmid went on to coach Columbus and Seattle, where he became the first coach in the expansion franchise’s history in 2009. The Sounders went on to win the MLS Cup after dropping Schmid last year.
Onalfo also has coached Kansas City and D.C. United during his career. The former Galaxy defender served as Arena’s assistant from 2011-14 before taking over the LA Galaxy II for three seasons.