New Trend? General Managers Kicked From MLS Clubs
Orlando City ranked 11th, that is the very bottom of the MLS’ Eastern Conference and the LA Galaxy ranked 7th but had super star power. Both clubs have “relieved” their General Managers of their duties after a less than successful season.
While the worlds “The longer that you get into a bad streak, the harder it is to get out of it” may have been spoken by Orlando City midfielder Will Johnson in October, 2018 — the sentiment stayed true all season.
American soccer fans do deserve better. Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s signing with LA Galaxy was momentous on paper but even this star baller failed to produce a championship-winning season for his Galaxy.
But will a new GM make the difference? That is what leadership is all about.
Only time will tell if fresh blood distinguishes these teams next season, but here are the statements from the two MLS clubs giving the boot to their GMs. And, the statements sound so similar.
LA Galaxy part ways with Pete Vagenas
On November 6th, the LA Galaxy announced today that the club had relieved Vice President of Soccer Operations Pete Vagenas of his duties.
“The club has made the decision to part ways with Pete Vagenas,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein. “After the last two seasons, we felt this move was in the best interest of the LA Galaxy going forward. We’d like to thank Pete for all of his contributions to the LA Galaxy as a player and as a member of our soccer operations group.”
Vagenas previously played for the Galaxy during nine of his 13 years in Major League Soccer and was a part of the Galaxy’s 2002 and 2005 MLS Cup championships. He was named the LA Galaxy General Manager in November 2016 before returning to serve as Vice President of Soccer Operations and Director of the LA Galaxy Academy following the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Orlando City SC Parts Ways With General Manager Niki Budalic
Today, Orlando City SC has also announced a parting of the ways with their General Manager of Soccer Operations Niki Budalic.
“I would like to thank Niki for these past three seasons with us and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” CEO Alex Leitão said. “We start a new year with many projects to look forward to, including strengthening our soccer operations department for the MLS and NWSL teams, opening a new training complex as well as kicking off the season with a revamped Academy structure and OCB sitting at the top of the player development pyramid in the USL League One. We welcome all 2019 has to offer with open arms and look forward to a great year with our staff, players and supporters.”
Budalic joined the Club in January 2016 as Assistant General Manager and was promoted to General Manager of Soccer Operations for both Orlando City in MLS and Orlando Pride in the NWSL in December 2016.
“I want to thank Alex and Majority Owner Flavio Augusto da Silva for the opportunity to work in this organization these past three years, and wish the Club all the best in the future,” Budalic added.