The Curt Onalfo era is underway. The LA Galaxy announced Onalfo as its new coach, replacing the departed Bruce Arena, at a news conference Tuesday. Onalfo managed LA Galaxy II since 2014 following a two-year stint as Arena’s top assistant.
Arena has certainly left his former assistant with some big shoes to fill. LA won three MLS Cups, two Supporters Shields and also made a fourth final under Arena’s guidance. Arena also worked wonders managing the egos of the Galaxy’s numerous big-name players, something Onalfo will also have to deal with considering the club’s reputation as a destination for stars.
Onalfo does bring previous head coaching experience, having managed the Kansas City Wizards (Now Sporting KC) from 2007-2009 and DC United during the 2010 season. He also managed DC United in 2001 on an interim basis.
Onalfo’s most impressive work is with LA Galaxy II where he led the team to a 46-29-20 (W-L-D) in three seasons at the helm. “Los Dos” made the playoffs all three years and were runners-up in 2015. Onalfo and his staff also developed a handful of players who went on to contribute to the senior team, Daniel Steres and Bradford Jamieson IV being two of the more notable.
Onalfo also brings a long history with both the club and former manager Arena to the table. He played his college soccer under Arena at Virginia, where he helped the school win a National Championship. The two linked up again at the pro level when he helped Arena’s DC United side win the 1999 MLS Cup. He went on to serve as Arena’s assistant for the US Men’s National Team (2003-2006) before eventually joining the Galaxy as an assistant in 2011.