Following a strong finish to last year’s campaign (ending out the playoffs to cross-town rivals LAFC in the MLS Conference Semifinals), the LA Galaxy will host the Dignity Tournament as an opportunity to ignite the season in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. I need to target a match at a health sports park.
But excitement over the action on the field continues to be second only to protests off the ground, with hundreds of Galaxy supporters uniting for a common cause: getting President Chris Klein out of the club. That’s it. Their frustration shows no signs of abating as the demonstrations continue after Saturday’s game against the Seattle Sounders.
“We all banded together after news broke that Klein was staying at the club. Within a day, two days at most.” rebelled against Jovan Kirovsky of
“All groups of supporters are independent, we each have our own ways, but this has definitely united us under one purpose,” Martinez said.
The postponement of El Trafico, the opener of 70,000 fans at the Rose Bowl, meant the Galaxy started the season with back-to-back away matches for the first time since 2003. Chicharito’ Hernandez has been ruled out of action after suffering a hamstring injury during preseason and has yet to play a minute this year. As is the case, the Galaxy hopes to improve in a subpar debut season in MLS. The Galaxy, who rely heavily on last season’s breakout star Riki Puig, have gone winless in his first four games this season, scoring just two goals.
LA Riot Club president Andrew Alesana said: “When it comes to Klein, we’re at a point where many supporters want him out, no matter what happens on the pitch. “He may have been spoiled. But Manchester United are a good comparison The conference semi-finals are not enough for Galaxy.
Boycott continues! We are just beginning our journey towards our goal of making Galaxy better. The Legends can be spotted protesting in his plaza this Saturday before kickoff against the Sounders at 4:30 p.m. Also watch the game at Hennessy’s Tavern on Hermosa Beach. pic.twitter.com/2MoQas3ylB
— LA Riot Squad (@LARiotSquad) March 30, 2023
This season, Klein returned to his eleventh year role despite his contract expiring at the end of 2022. The month before the announcement, Klein was suspended by the league through a major transfer window as part of a series of penalties against the club. The team was also fined $1 million and will face future bans for violating MLS salary guidelines when signing Argentinian winger Cristian Pavon, who plays for Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro, in 2019. docked an additional $1 million as the general distribution of Despite his suspension, Klein’s off-field responsibilities have not changed, although his responsibilities regarding recruitment and sporting decisions have been handed over to head coach Greg Bunney, who is also currently serving as interim sporting director. ing.
As a player, Klein was seen as a steady stalwart of blue, white and gold. During his three-year stint in Los Angeles, the now 47-year-old lifted the MLS Cup, two Supporters his Shield and the US Open Cup before retiring in 2010. He was soon hired into his office at the front of Galaxy to serve as senior director. Under Tim Leiweke, former president and CEO of Galaxy’s parent company, AEG, he served as the club’s academy and vice president. Three years later, he was promoted to president and head of business operations, and in 2017 he was rewarded with a five-year contract.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy have also moved to join the once-dominant league.For a club with five MLS Cup trophies, seasons like 2017 (finishing last in the league and being ridiculed in the process) Collecting “wooden spoons”) is totally unacceptable for a club with the reputation, location and financial clout to compete for trophies. every season.
Since then, the team has seen four head coaches and three general managers try to stop the slide. Even the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has been one of Europe’s greatest players in the last 20 years, is not enough to bring the club back to the glory days of David Beckham, Landon Donovan or Kobi Jones. There was no. under Klein. It helps that his LAFC, the new kids on the block, started his life in MLS with a bang, winning his two Supporters’ Shields and his MLS Cup from the first season of 2018. not.
The constant presence of a group of supporters was lost from the stadium when the Galaxy finished in a 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps in their home opener. The Angel City Brigade, Galaxians and Galaxy Outlawz typically reside in the secure section of the Victoria Block while the LA Riot Squad chants and sings throughout the game from the southeast corner. If it weren’t for the ruckus by the most die-hard Galaxy fans, the lack of atmosphere was noticeable despite the occasion.
“There are things that fans and supporters can influence and things that they probably won’t,” Vanny told ESPN in February before the actual protest. I hope there is a solution and the group of supporters will find the right way – it’s really important for all of us and the players – whatever the solution is, they will find the right way to show up. please outside.'”
Still, many members of the five main supporter factions will not return to their seats until Klein is expelled from the club.
“Being in the MLS Cup is what we feel we’re right where we should be,” said Alesana. “If the team starts to work really well and they run away, more and more people will come back, but the person in charge[of the group of supporters]will talk to the people under the leadership. is what we want, and we have no intention of breaking it.”
Attendance at Dignity Health Sports Park was 23,112, the lowest home opener attendance since Klein took office in 2014. With the number of disenchanted fans growing, this significant drop in support for his fans was expected for Alesana and his group of united supporters. club for the last few years. Last season, Galaxy’s average attendance dropped from his 2019 last season, which was impacted by COVID-19, and his product at BMO Stadium in LAFC began to catch the eye of casual fans. I was.
“I know fans who started boycotting last season,” Alesana said. “It wasn’t very noticeable because some people stopped attending games or renewed their season tickets, but they’re there. , that’s when it starts to feel real.”
On-pitch results have taken a nosedive under Klein, but the Galaxy continue to grow their profile off the pitch. With a rich heritage and prime location, Galaxy is the highest-grossing MLS club in the year, boosted by the high-profile Spanish-speaking duo of Chicharito and Puig. Last year, the club set records for ticket sales and revenue from sponsorships, thanks to the renewal of his sponsorship of his $35 million jersey for five years with longtime partner Herbalife His Nutrition. rice field. Another signing under Klein, Ibrahimovic had a record-breaking two-year stint with the team, scoring a club-high 26 goals in the 2019 regular season while being named an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI twice. I was.
However, some high-profile players who arrived under Klein and Kirovsky’s reign have struggled. Costa, who joined from Brazil’s Gremio, has made just four goals in 27 appearances since signing in February 2022. Billed as his top recruit from Europe, Kevin Cabral was traded to Colorado’s Rapids in exchange for a $1 million general allocation his money. After finding the net six times in 61 league appearances.
“We signed big players who weren’t exactly what the coaches wanted,” said Alesana. “Many of our DP signings have revealed the fact that coaches did not want players – Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos are two examples. We signed players to see if they would sell shirts and walk through the door.
When asked for comment, Galaxy responded, “The process of signing players has always been a decision of the general manager and head coach.”
As the Galaxy continue to search for a foothold in the season opener, LAFC kicked off their MLS Cup and Supporters Shield defenses in style. His 10 points in his first four games were enough to finish joint second in the Western Conference, and Costa Rica’s LD reached the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League after knocking out Alajuelense. Did. Aresana doesn’t want the Galaxy to imitate LAFC, but they are MLS’ most successful club.
“A lot of their work is very Hollywood, very flamboyant and glamorous. “In terms of looks, they’re doing a better job,” Alesana said. not.”
(Photo: Sean Clarke/Getty Images)