The news that Phillip Anschutz's was maintaining ownership of AEG and President and CEO Tim Leiweke was departing the company was headline news across Southern California and did not go unnoticed in the LA Galaxy locker room.
But to better understand how the moves affect the LA Galaxy as a whole, I spoke with club President Chris Klein on how the moves will impact on the club's day-to-day operations, to learn more about new AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman, and understand how Leiweke’s departure will change the Galaxy’s pursuit of Designated Players.
Read my Q & A with Klein below…
(On how the AEG changes over the past day…)
KLEIN: “In terms of the Galaxy and the way that we operate, this doesn’t change anything for us. I think two things came out [of Thursday]; one is that we’re no longer for sale, which is a good thing for the Galaxy. And the second thing obviously, is that Tim is no longer with the company. Although he will be greatly missed, we will move on and continue to operate business as usual.”
(On what should people know about new AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman…)
KLEIN: “The first thing is that Dan has been great and while Tim was always the one that was out there, Dan has been intricately involved in everything that the Galaxy has done certainly since I’ve been here. I don’t think he’s going to be one to profess to be a soccer expert, but in speaking to him [on Thursday], the one message that he did have is that Phil continues to be committed to the Galaxy and the game of soccer in this country as he’s always been and the same goes for Dan as well."
(On whether the team loses something not having Leiweke around…)
KLEIN: “If you look at anyone who goes through a club, one thing that we know is that the Galaxy is going to be here long beyond myself, long beyond Mr. Anschutz, long beyond Bruce Arena, long beyond Tim Leiweke, and so this is something that we’re building that we hope is around for our kids and their kids. Do you miss a personality like Tim? Absolutely, of course you do, but like anything that we have whether you lose a player or a coach, there are other people that have to fill the void that is left.”
(On the other side, how important it is to have Phillip Anschutz around...)
KLEIN: “I’ve been around this league since 1998 and as long as I could remember, there were years when Phil owned six teams in our league and his commitment to the game of soccer in this country is unparalleled. You have other people who were there on the ground floor like he was, but to have him still involved in the game of soccer, especially with the Galaxy, should bring a smile to everyone’s face.”
(On how Leiweke’s departure could impact any potential Designated Player moves as he was instrumental in recruiting players like David Beckham and Robbie Keane…)
KLEIN: “Well, like I said, in speaking with Dan and everyone else, it is business as usual. We will continue to be the flag bearer in MLS. That includes our aggressive push for DP’s. Tim will no longer be there to do that, but we have other people in the organization who can fill that void and will continue to be aggressive in that market.”
(On whether not Klein feels confident the Galaxy can continue to attract top-level talent because of the brand that the team has…)
KLEIN: “I believe we can, yes.”
What are your thoughts on Klein’s comments?
Share your thoughts below.