The LA Galaxy have fired president Chris Klein amid a turbulent season that has seen fan protests and the team languishing at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Klein was in his 11th season with the Galaxy but his continued presence had been a source of fan unrest throughout much of this season. The former Galaxy player and U.S. international sent an email to supporters last month stating that he would step down if the team failed to make the MLS playoffs this season.
However, the club announced Tuesday that he will now leave with immediate effect.
“As a Club we have not achieved our goals or met the standard that we have established for the LA Galaxy,” Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of Galaxy parent company AEG said.
“We believe it is in the best interest of the Club to make a change and begin a comprehensive process to seek new leadership that will return the Club to the level that our fans and partners expect. We are thankful to Chris for his years of dedication and commitment to the LA Galaxy as both a player and an executive.”
Added Klein: “I’d like to thank Phil Anschutz and Dan Beckerman for the opportunity to serve as president for the LA Galaxy for the past 11 years. My family and I love this club and I’m grateful to have spent 16 years with this organization as a player and an executive. Thank you to our supporters, partners, players, coaches, and staff for all of the passion, dedication and hard work.”
Head coach and sporting director Greg Vanney will continue to lead all soccer operations and will now report directly to Beckerman, the Galaxy said.
Last December, Klein was suspended and the team fined $1 million by Major League Soccer for undisclosed payments involving Argentine winger Cristian Pavon in 2019.
MLS also stripped the team of $1 million in future general allocation money and said the Galaxy will not be allowed to acquire players coming to MLS internationally during this summer’s transfer window.
Klein was the target this year of several Galaxy fan organizations infuriated by the team’s miserable recent seasons and its inability to return to contention despite one of MLS’ biggest payrolls. The fan groups threatened to boycott the team if Klein stayed in charge, and they followed through on the threat to varying degrees in recent months.
The record five-time MLS Cup winner has failed to make the MLS playoffs in four of the past six seasons. After 14 games this season, the Galaxy have the worst record in MLS with just nine points.
Also on Tuesday, it was revealed that a Brazilian court is seeking the arrest of LA Galaxy winger Douglas Costa for failing to pay for child support.
An attorney for the former Brazil international said on Tuesday in a statement that he trusts the decision by a judge in the city of Porto Alegre will be reversed.
Details of the case are sealed.
The 32-year-old Costa cannot be arrested outside Brazil, according to the court’s ruling, which was issued on Friday.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.