Editorial (November 18, 2016) – The LA Galaxy announced this week that forward Robbie Keane and associate head coach Dave Sarachan will be leaving the club. That’s a big hole being vacated in a Designated Player and coaching spot. What does this mean for the Galaxy? Let’s dig deeper.
Robbie Keane And Dave Sarachan Leave LA Galaxy: Why And What It Means
First off, it needs to be said that both of these men leave having changed the club’s history for the better. Robbie Keane will go down as one of the best DPs in club and league history. In terms of on the field performance, one could argue he’s the best ever by miles. Sarachan was Head Coach Bruce Arena‘s right hand man for many years. He helped shape the locker room.
Both of them deserve a world of credit for delivering three MLS Cups to the LA Galaxy. Now, why did the leave? Where are they going? What does this mean for LA?
As I wrote earlier this week, keeping Keane was going to be tough. He absolutely isn’t a DP anymore at 37-years-old. He probably played his way out of a TAM level contract during the playoffs. He’s not what he used to be. Keane is an extremely prideful (and sometimes arrogant) player. That makes him great. It also makes him a pain in the butt sometimes. In 2017, he’d be an expensive and almost useless pain in the butt.
The two parties probably just couldn’t come to terms that worked for both financially. This is for the best for both of them. Even though Keane didn’t get the send off he deserved. David Beckham and Landon Donovan (the first time) both went out winning MLS Cup. Keane and the Galaxy went out with a whimper against the Colorado Rapids. I’d like it if Keane got a testimonial match at some point in the future for the Galaxy.
Going forward, this now frees up two very valuable DP slots for the Galaxy (including the departure of Steven Gerrard). Philosophical changes are needed and part of that involves getting younger. Giovanni dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes are the future of the club. The Galaxy should go after a central midfielder DP, possibly Bastian Schweinsteiger. What they do with the other open DP slot is a bit less obvious. They could go after a wide player, or less likely a center back.
As for Keane? He’s got potential landing spots in MLS. It might not be a sound investment if TAM or a DP slot are needed. I’m sure there’s a club in the Championship that would give him a look. He could also play in Scotland or return home to Ireland. He might prefer staying in MLS. We’ll have to wait and see what offers he gets.
I say good luck to any MLS team that signs him to be honest.
This departure is a bit more complicated. And unexpected. Sarachan has been with the Galaxy since 2010. He’s been an assistant coach to Arena at several times, going back to the U.S. Men’s National Team, D.C. United, and University of Virginia in the 1980’s. This departure probably hurts Arena a lot on an emotional level.
It’s unclear for now what caused this break up. He’s been an assistant/associate coach for so long, maybe he wanted a change. He wasn’t getting that as long as Arena was at the club. He’s experienced enough to get a head coaching job in the USL or NASL if he wants that. He might also just want a change of scenery.
There aren’t any big MLS head coach openings right now. But if one opened up and he expressed interest, the club would certainly consider him given his resume. There’s also a rumor he has interest in Los Angeles FC. That would be a very interesting twist in a future rivalry.
How the Galaxy replace him is a bit unclear. There are rumors that Arena could be in line to replace Jurgen Klinsmann should he be removes as USMNT coach. If Arena goes, all bets are off. The Galaxy might completely change the organization depending on who replaces Arena.
If Arena is retained, and the Galaxy should do that, he’s got a bunch of connections. He’ll find someone to fill the void Sarachan left. Might not be his first choice or one with enough experience as Arena. That said, his coaching disciples tend to be successful. Someone will want to work under his wing.