One of Major League Soccer’s most successful franchises has fallen on hard times. LA Galaxy fans are protesting against their club president. Their neighbor LAFC has been taking all of the limelight, as well as star signings. Meanwhile, their local beat reporter calls them a joke.
Los Angeles Times soccer writer Kevin Baxter didn’t hold back when discussing the current ominous situation with the Galaxy. After all, the once-storied club has qualified for the playoffs just twice in six years. And they were even dumped from the competition by their local rivals LAFC the most recent time around.
But it seems much deeper than that for Galaxy fans.
Team president at the heart of LA Galaxy issues
Supporters of the club have been protesting Galaxy president Chris Klein for some time now. A mixture of poor performances on the pitch, bad signings, and an overall perceived carelessness has rubbed fans the wrong way. This disdain for Klein culminated last weekend when some supporters brought banners and chanted ‘Klein out!’ in the build up of the Galaxy’s preseason match with New York City FC. The hosts lost the match, 2-1.
Galaxy officials were once again the center of an embarrassment when Julian Araujo’s proposed move to Barcelona fell through because of delayed paperwork. FIFA denied the over $4 million deal because the paperwork was submitted 18 seconds late. Barca has mostly been blamed for the ordeal, but late alterations to the agreement most likely caused the delay. It remains to be seen if the Galaxy ordered the changes.
The club was even recently sanctioned by MLS for violating salary budget and roster guidelines. The transfer acquisition of Cristian Pavon was at the crux of the infraction. Klein was also temporarily suspended from “sporting-related responsibilities” because of the investigation.
Despite Klein’s contract expiring at the end of the 2022 season, he has returned with the club for the upcoming campaign. The Galaxy finished fourth in the western conference last season and were eventually knocked out of the playoffs by LAFC in the second round.
El Trafico could yet set a new attendance record
To rub the salt in a little more, it appears that Feb. 25th’s El Tráfico may set an attendance record for MLS. While that may sound like good news for the game scheduled at the Rose Bowl, reports are that most of the crowd will be LAFC fans, not LA Galaxy.
LAFC is currently one of the hottest teams in the league. After all, they collected their first MLS title in November. A recent report even claimed that the club the most valuable franchise in the MLS at a record $1 billion. The Galaxy’s value was predictably right behind their rivals at $925 million.
Nevertheless, the winningest team in MLS history has to find a way to have a successful 2023 season. Galaxy still has talent in the team and need to get off to a fast start later this month. Multiple bad results to begin the campaign would only make matters worse.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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