Tuesday’s Column: Galaxy GM Lalas Could be on Borrowed Time

Good morning from the 10th floor of the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, which sports a lovely view of the bay and where the wife is attending a convention. Me? I’m here to slum by the pool for a couple of days.

Before I do, here’s today’s column.

Were these normal times for the Galaxy I would be writing an Olympics preview for a column instead. But these are not normal times and so the pressure being applied to Galaxy General Manager Alexi Lalas was an obvious topic.

On a personal level, I like Alexi Lalas.

He’s approachable, witty and accessible (Monday’s interview was conducted on two hours notice).

But I, like many fans, have more than a few reservations about his ability as a general manager.

I suspect it’s Lalas rather than Coach Ruud Gullit who could pay the price if AEG decides things don’t unfold the way the company suits believe it should as the column points out.

Here are a few nuggets left over from the interview that didn’t make it into the column for space reasons:

*On the possibility of the Galaxy coming to an agreement with defender Cory Gibbs – “He is a person of interest as they say,” Lalas said. “He would be a welcome addition not just because of his ability, but because of the position that he plays and our obvious need to upgrade our defense.”

*On whether Landon Donovan will head to Europe:

“At the end of the season we’ll see what’s appropriate for the Galaxy and Landon.”

*On whether Carlos Ruiz and Pete Vagenas remain trade bait:

“I don’t look for us to be making any changes with those players for the rest of the season unless something incredible (is offered) to us.”

*On what the team needs –

“It doesn’t need to be blown up. It doesn’t need major reconstruction. Does it need an attitude readjustment? Absolutely. The sky is not falling no matter what people write or say … We are going to need more men and less boys.”

*On the fact the league’s most potent offense can’t keep up with the league’s worst defense in terms of scoring more goals than are conceded –

“We need to get to a point with the Galaxy where we are able to score one goal and win the game. We’re not there yet. If we hope to make the playoffs and take another run at an MLS Cup, we need to get there.”

*So what is the answer? –

“We have set about from the start recognizing our ability to attack is an incredible weapon and also recognizing it will lead to times it can hurt us. We’re still trying to find the proper balance.”

*On the reaction he expects from players – and himself –

“Ultimately I think the players that we have here now – stars and non-stars alike – have to take ownership and take responsibility,” he said. “I have confidence in my abilities and I have confidence in who I am. I don’t feel it’s appropriate for a GM to run around and try and qualify everything and quantify everything.”

On what he would say to fans:

“I know people are frustrated. I know people are angry. They expect and deserve better than what we are giving them especially in recent performances … Everyone from myself on down in this organization are doing everything possible to have this team succeed.”

Enjoy your day. I’m off to the pool, but will be back later for a look at the busy soccer week ahead.

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  • Anon

    If we don’t fire Lalas before the transfer deadline, what good does it really do? I guess it could alleviate tension between the front office and the field (assuming the likely interim or successor Bravo gets along OK with Gullit) and signal to the fans we are doing something, but won’t it be merely symbolic? We would need to act quickly for a new GM to actually make a difference this season.

  • Peligro

    Forget Gibbs. If he doesn’t bring in a quality midfielder, he is not doing his job.

  • bz

    Maybe he should pull a Micheal Jordan and suit up. I don’t care how old he is… he is probably the best defender the Galaxy has right…. Wait, what position did Ruud play? Heck, get him in a uniform too! He played at a higher caliber that Lalas ever did.

  • Vince

    Suit up COBY JONES!!!!!!!!
    I guarantee that Coby could make a difference in the mid-field. Nobody plays with more character, heart, and pride than Coby. He showed even last year that he still had plenty left in the tank, maybe not for a full 90 minutes anymore, but he can make a difference in 70 minutes or coming off the bench, and other players would see how he does it and half to step up as well.
    Naturally, I’m not completely serious, but it doesn’t sound like a bad idea does it?? And if he did come back, I bet he would be better then most of the team. He never quit, and always gave 150%. Can’t say that about some of those players after what I saw against San Jose!!!!!!!!!

  • mark allen

    The Galaxy still needs to shore up the back line and improve on the goalie but, we need a strong holding midfield player that can control tempo and marshal the offense as well and add strength and bite to the defense. Who that would be I don’t know, but we definitely need help!!! C’mon Lalas – do some wheeling and dealing.

  • Inigo Montoya

    My kid likes the idea of Lalas coming back to play on the back line he has constructed. It would serve him right. She also says Chris Albright looks better and better in retrospect, and should not have been traded to DCU.

    Me, I’m for putting in Cobi for the last 20 minutes as a holding midfielder. Why not? He’s under contract, right? He’s definitely got skills on the ball. (My kid disagrees, never liked Cobi in the first place.)

    Where’s Cien these days? Now there was a Galaxy midfielder…

    Anon asks the right question: what good would management shuffling do after the transfer deadline? These are the cards we have to play, right?

  • Joseph DHippolito

    And now, some comments about Dr. Denial, our red-headed stepchild of a GM…

    It doesn’t need to be blown up. It doesn’t need major reconstruction. Does it need an attitude readjustment? Absolutely. The sky is not falling no matter what people write or say … We are going to need more men and less boys.

    Really? Well, who drafted those “boys” in the first place? And why did you draft them? Because you had no salary cap space for “men”? If you wanted “men,” then why did you trade Albright, Cannon, Ihemelu, Marshall, Martino and Dunivant? Oh, I get it. You didn’t have the cap space, did you?

    I have confidence in my abilities and I have confidence in who I am.

    Translation: I know I’m nothing a corporate tool who got into this position simply because of my name, not because of my business acumen or ability to judge playing talent.

    I don’t feel it’s appropriate for a GM to run around and try and qualify everything and quantify everything.

    Translation: I don’t need to explain to all you losers (i.e., season-ticket holders and fans who spent $500 for a Beckham jersey) why I’m such an incompetent. Just keep spending your money; that’s all we care about at AEG.