When the world’s most famous soccer player, David Beckham, came to Major League Soccer in 2007, his arrival put the league on the map and affirmed the Los Angeles Galaxy’s status as the young league’s superteam. During his tenure, the Galaxy played in three M.L.S. Cups, won two of them and exuded a Hollywood glamour that resonated around the world.
So it is startling to see that the Galaxy has the worst record in the league this season, with only two wins from 14 games. In response, and after missing the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, the team on Tuesday fired its longtime president, Chris Klein, who had also played with Beckham at the Galaxy.
Klein’s dismissal came after months of clamor from hard-core fans upset at the club’s direction. Several supporters groups had called for Klein’s dismissal and threatened to boycott games; some already have done so. The Galaxy’s attendance is down about 10 percent from last season, a reflection of both the team’s cratering on-field results and simmering anger among its fans.
“I hope that there’s a resolution, and the supporters’ groups — who are really important to all of us, and to the players — find the right way, whatever the resolution is for them to show up,” Galaxy Coach Greg Vanney told ESPN in February. “Because it’s probably not going to be ‘Chris out.’”
Now Chris is out. “We believe it is in the best interest of the club to make a change and begin a comprehensive process to seek new leadership that will return the club to the level that our fans and partners expect,” Dan Beckerman, the president of A.E.G., the team’s parent company, said in announcing Klein’s departure. Vanney will remain in his job as coach, the team said.
The Galaxy’s last M.L.S. championship came in 2014, its third in four years, but it has not won anything significant since then. Last year’s playoff appearance, its first in three seasons, ended in the conference semifinals.
The team that knocked out the Galaxy at that stage particularly rankles: It was Los Angeles F.C., the new club in town, which has only been a member of the league since 2018 but already has more honors in its trophy case (three) than the Galaxy have in the past decade.
L.A.F.C. has twice won the Supporters Shield, awarded to the team with the best regular-season record, and last season it won its first M.L.S. Cup championship. It also has advanced to the final of this year’s Concacaf Champions League, where it will meet Club León of Mexico in a home-and-home series this week for the regional club championship.
The Galaxy, meanwhile, are staggering. The team is a league-worst 2-9-3 with a minus-14 goal difference this season. Going into Wednesday night, the Galaxy have lost three straight league games without scoring a goal. After the last of those defeats, by 1-0 at home to Charlotte on Saturday, fans chanted, “We want better!”
While L.A.F.C.’s Dénis Bouanga leads M.L.S. with 10 goals, the Galaxy’s scoring leader, Dejan Joveljic, has two. Among the underachieving big-name Galaxy players are the Mexico striker Javier Hernández, known as Chicharito, and Douglas Costa of Brazil, who scoreless in four appearance Costa also faces arrest in Brazil on charges of nonpayment of child support, it was revealed this week.
Klein had his own problems late last year: He was suspended in the off-season after M.L.S. found violations in a deal to sign the Argentine wing Cristian Pavón. The sanctions also limit the moves the Galaxy can make in the international transfer market this summer. That means rebuilding the Galaxy will be a tall order. Even with their fans back on board, a return to glory may take a while.
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