Alexi Lalas’ Prescription for the Galaxy: Leadership & No Becks as Captain

It was a pleasant surprise this evening to turn on the New England-Chicago playoff game on ESPN2 and be greeted by former Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas.

Lalas may have had issues as GM, but he’s always articulate and entertaining.

Lalas has kept a low profile since getting fired from the Galaxy and I believe the comments he made about the situation before the game were the first of any depth.

Here’s an excerpt of what he had to say about what new GM and Coach Bruce Arena needs to do:

“His first order of business is to find some leadership, to fill the void that exists in the Galaxy with leadership. He needs to go out there and find some real SOB’s; some guys who don’t care about saying the truth, don’t care about hurting people’s feelings and aren’t afraid they’re going to lose their job for doing so.

“He needs to make one of those guys captain, to be quite honest. This not a question of a Galaxy that doesn’t have talent, it’s a question of there was a leadership void. The fact is you need to send a message that nobody is bigger than the club whether you’re David Beckham or whether you’re Tristan Bowen, an 18-year-old coming into the club.

“Everybody has to understand it’s the team first.

“If I regret something it’s that I recognized that early on and probably didn’t do enough to correct that situation.”

I wonder how Beckham would react to having the captaincy taken away from him? And why does a team that has the experienced likes of Beckham, Landon Donovan and Pete Vagenas not have leaders anyway?

Still, Lalas’ prescription for improving the Galaxy sounds an awful lot like Arena’s, who has essentially said the same thing.

Incidentally, Beckham is joining a team in AC Milan that is top of the Italian league for the first time in four years.

BTW, Beckham is supposedly going to share taking free kicks with Ronaldinho.

And what could be – let’s emphasize the could – Beckham’s first game is the 11:30 a.m. Sunday Jan. 11 encounter against Roma. Fox Soccer Channel will televise that game live.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!
  • I always thought Alexi was wasted in the front office because he was much better on TV. He really did a nice job last night. I especially liked his comment that the way MLS values Landon and the way the rest of the world does is probably vastly different.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Alexi Lalas is American soccer’s Keith Olbermann: an articulate yet bloviating buffoon. I read Grahame Jones’ article on the interview and, while Lalas said that he made some mistakes as GM, it would have been nice for him to take responsibility specifically for two facts 1)his constant transactions that destroyed the team’s chemistry and 2)his and Obergruppenfuerher Leiweke’s failure to perform due diligence on the affects of having Beckham’s staff here.

    Then again, Lalas and Leiweke didn’t perform due diligence on Ruud Gullit, did they?

    He says the Galaxy can’t survive w/o Donovan? Well, they didn’t do too well with him this season, did they? Besides, I’d love to see them try — especially w/defenses focusing on Buddle and w/Gordon still trying to develop the pace and touch that he’ll never have.

    Lalas learned well from Master Tim: When all else fails, cover yourself and blame the players. Why do you think there’s “no leadership” on the Galaxy? Because 1)the players are made to feel less than worthless and 2) anybody who assumes leadership will get smacked down by a front office that rules by intimidation.

    Alexi, do us all a favor. Just shut up and go away; you’re last century’s news.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    One more thing: Alexi Lalas talking about leadership is like a eunuch talking about sex. Lalas is the biggest corporate tool I’ve ever seen. Though he’s been gone from AEG for nearly three months, he still talks like “one of the boys.” Maybe he thinks that if he talks that way, AEG will hire him back? Fat chance, ginger!

  • papa bear

    Hilarious. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess huh, Alexi?

    Seriously, the guy has NO knowledge of how a team should be run. He has shown that consistently so basically I’d take everything he said and do the opposite and most likely end up champion next year.

    Oh and I’ll be shocked if Becks gets more than 100 total minutes with AC Milan and most of that in Coppa Italia matches. There is NO WAY he is taking free kicks anytime Ronnie is on the field. No offense to Becks he’s still a great free kick taker and a very good player but Ronnie is a cut above in all possible departments right now.