CARSON, Calif. — Guillermo Barros Schelotto has already begun discussions with LA Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese and president Chris Klein about the club’s much-needed roster moves ahead of the 2019 season, and he’s ready to hit the ground running.
“I was watching the games last season, a lot of games, . . . so I know what we need to do in the future and what position we need to bring some players,” Schelotto said after his first press conference as head coach of the LA Galaxy on Thursday afternoon at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. “But first, I need to talk with Dennis and with Chris, and we will make a decision. About the rules in MLS, they are different than another league, so I need to talk with them and we will make decisions.”
Schelotto, who previously coached Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors, said he likes an offensive style of play, and thinks the Galaxy already has some standout players in that area.
“We need to work on the field during the week to get that,” Schelotto said, referring to his preferred style of play. “I think we have good players on offense. They are really good, like [Ola] Kamara, [Zlatan] Ibrahimović, [Romain] Alessandrini. So, I think we need to work to get that. It’s not easy. It’s not simple, but we need to work.”
Defense will be a major talking point for the Galaxy’s newly-appointed front office as it moves forward with roster decisions. Last year, the Galaxy were tied for fifth-worst in the league in goals allowed with 64, but managed to have a +2 goal differential by the end of the year, indicating that scoring goals was not the problem.
When asked about the Schelotto, te Kloese praised the new coach’s ability to organize players.
“First of all, as a player, obviously he’s proven to be able to win with a very accomplished career,” te Kloese said. “And as a coach both in Lanus and Boca Juniors, he came into both teams in situations where there was a lot of need for organization, a lot of need for structure and a lot of need for quality decisions. And I think in the position that we’re at, we can obviously take great advantage of his knowledge, . . . and his way of thinking about soccer is something that fits us.”
As far as the specifics of the upcoming roster moves, te Kloese held his cards close to his chest. He was very clear that the head coach would be the main decision-maker, and now that Schelotto is in place, the team can start having those vital conversations.
“I think it wouldn’t be fair to go into names, specifically, if we haven’t spoken to the players,” te Kloese said. “With high-profile players, there is always a lot of interest from other teams for these players. We will see what is best for the team, what is best for the club. The first, very big step for us was to have the coach installed and have him be part of the decision-making process going forward, and it will be very soon with that.”
The clock is ticking on roster moves. Players are scheduled to begin preseason training camp toward the end of January, with preseason games beginning Feb. 9. So, fans should expect player movement in the upcoming weeks as the Galaxy prepares for the 2019 season.