HOT RUMOR! Lalas in trouble? Gullit to leave? (3 - possible)

Hm. More than halfway through the ten-day break, too. I wonder what took them so long.

For the second straight year, a Home Depot Center GM was shown the door, despite being ahead in the standings over their roommate and rival. People may criticize the jobs that Lalas and Gullit did for the Galaxy, but you can't argue with their success.

Tim, your thoughts?

Let's read between the lines a little. I'm translating this as "Ruud had an ironclad three-year contract, so we had to negotiate with him instead of just spitcanning him."

Translation: "Alexi was a figurehead." I think this is the first time that both player and business duties were spelled out so clearly in a press release. I certainly don't remember anything this clear.

So I don't actually anticipate that much change, particularly in the business area. They even seem happy with Bravo's work, reiterating his jurisdiction. Which tells me Bravo, or Bravo and Cobi Jones, were the brains behind the very good Superdraft the Galaxy had this year, and that forces beyond his control were behind things like Carlos Ruiz, Eduardo Dominguez, Vanney for Kirk, and so forth. Bravo's been on the job longer than Gullit was, and was a prime target in the sort of housecleaning this is being described as.

Or, it could simply mean that the next GM will want to pick his own DoS. The problem there is, why on earth would you replace or promote someone over Payne, apparently the one guy who has been exceeding expectations? Unless AEG really does think the Galaxy should be selling out every single game with Beckham.

As far as Gullit leaving for personal reasons - it's possible. So I don't want to just say "Absolutely out of the question", and read tomorrow that he's pregnant or something. But from the point of view of a legendary European, the Galaxy job was a last ditch effort to salvage a coaching reputation that now lies completely in ruins. Gullit won't starve, any more than Lalas will. I'm not saying Gullit will never be hired to coach a team ever again in the world, any more than I'll say Alexi will never run a team again. I'm just saying neither of them should. Their talents lie elsewhere.

Cobi is the new temporary boss, and I'm going to put the odds on him keeping the job at 70% or so. There's a LOT of other potential candidates in there, even if you narrow it down to people with a Galaxy connection. There will be another round of negotiations with Klinsmann, they will fall through. They'll ring up the UCLA mafia, except Cobi is after all one of them. And it wasn't as if Cobi took the assistant job in order to pay the bills. Cobi wants to be a head coach, and it's to his credit that he didn't just leverage his name into a head coaching gig without previous experience.

Er, until now. But Cobi also has the competitive fire that makes people like Preki, Jason Kreis, and Dominic Kinnear so intensely disagreeable. Cobi's a little more charming when he wants to be, but anyone who's looked into his eyes when he's unhappy won't doubt his drive. God help the rookie who dogs it in practice under the Jones regime. It's really about whether he has the tactical acumen at this point, and I think Tim and Phil give him an extended chance to develop and prove whether he can or not.

I'm a Cobi fan, so I think he'll do well. I'm also an Alexi Lalas and Ruud Gullit fan, so, hey, free salt grains.