CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy president Chris Klein stated that the club’s decision to relieve Peter Vagenas of his general manager duties and hand all player personnel decisions to head coach Sigi Schmid was a necessary move after the team’s poor 2017 season.
The LA Galaxy endured the worst season in club history in 2017, going 8-18-8 and finishing in dead last in the Major League Soccer standings with just 32 points. Schmid replaced former head coach Curt Onalfo in late July and according to Klein, there had always been an “understanding” that he would take over player personnel decisions at season’s end due to his extensive MLS experience.
"We always knew when we made the quick transition that all of this job is a lot and there’s a lot that goes into the Galaxy, not just the first team roster,” Klein said. “When we brought Sigi in, there was an understanding that he knows how to build teams in our league and knows what it takes, so bringing that expertise in, we were always going to defer to that.
"Our focus needs to be on getting things right and making the right decisions, and building our roster so that we have the opportunity to do that. If our focus is on being excellent then I believe that we’ll get to where we need to go. Going through that process with someone that has done that not at just one place, but everywhere he’s gone gives us a tremendous of confidence going forward.”
Per Klein, Schmid will now have “full control” over player and staffing decisions during an offseason where plenty of movement is expected on both sides. As for Vagenas, he’ll return to the Vice President of Soccer Operations role that he held during the 2016 season.
“Pete still has a big role going forward helping with the soccer operations from the Academy to Galaxy II to areas of the first team,” Klein said. “[The club] needs a lot of people and Pete has been very good at that [role] in the past and he’ll continue to play a big role in that going forward.”