No Faith in the Galaxy Front Office
The MLS season finished a month ago and teams have been very busy making off season acquisitions to prepare for the 2017 season. However, not every team has been active in the signing process. The LA Galaxy have yet to make any sort of significant signing and it is making some fans very uneasy and impatient. More agitated fans are starting to turn on their team. They have decided that any decision made and player signed by the front office will be useless and incorrect. A few people have already jumped ship and have decided to support LAFC when they enter the league in 2018. Are Galaxy fans correct in feeling this way, or are they jumping the gun by not giving the Galaxy front office the benefit of the doubt and having faith in what they do?
Galaxy fans are extremely spoiled. They have every reason to be. They have the most championships, have had the most appearances in MLS Cup, and have had some groundbreaking, rule-bending signings throughout its history. Fans demand this type of success every year. For Galaxy fans, there is no rebuilding year in the traditional definition of the term. For Galaxy fans, a rebuilding year is simply a year that they need to win a title more so than any other year for failing to win the title the year before. With so many expectations failed to be met in 2016, it’s no surprise that fans are desperate for major changes heading into 2017. Long term projects are hardly ever accepted with premier teams, and with the Galaxy having made no changes besides a necessary coaching change, fans are getting more and more impatient. This is a sport where short term results matter more than anything and fans want results now!
Being the premier team of the league, the impatience and high expectations of fans is expected. However, being the premier team also merits a level of faith that Galaxy fans are seriously lacking this offseason. When Galaxy fans ask where the team is headed next season, it has been met with, “we have 5 MLS Cups.” This is rubbing fans the wrong way. Perhaps it is because the statement refers to the past rather than the future, or maybe it’s because it shows a level of arrogance that fans can’t agree with based on the past couple of seasons. Maybe it is simply a case of fans grossly misinterpreting what is being said to them.
The anger, frustration, impatience and lack of faith is definitely influencing how fans see and interpret things. When the front office brings up their past accomplishments, they aren’t living in the past, as most fans are interpreting, but rather, they are asking for the fans to trust them. They are essentially saying that they have been successful in the past, so there’s no reason to believe they won’t be successful in the future. Based on what the front office has done in the past, wanting trust from fans is not too much to ask for. However, the misinterpretation does not stop there. What about the lack of signings thus far? While other teams have been making big moves to improve their team, the Galaxy have stayed relatively quiet. Combined with, “we have 5 MLS Cups” and the lack of signings, Galaxy fans seem to believe that no signings will be made and that we can sit back and another cup will come to us based on our past accomplishments. This is absolutely ludicrous, absurd and ridiculous. How can any Galaxy fan possibly believe this? Emotions are definitely clouding their rational thinking. The Galaxy have 2 DP slots open, plus extra TAM to play with. Why would the Galaxy not use them? Fans are aware that the team is scouting in Europe. The international transfer window starts in January. Isn’t it possible that the major signings will happen during this time? Wouldn’t that explain why the Galaxy haven’t signed any major player yet?
Part of the lack of faith is due to the fact that the Galaxy front office has stated that it will be more cost efficient. In other words, they want to try to make a profit in the upcoming season. This was already made clear with the hiring of Curt Onalfo as head coach and Peter Vagenas as general manger. However, bringing in new players is an entirely different matter. Most people are interpreting this as bringing up most of the Galaxy II squad into the first team. Again, this is absurd. At most, 2 players from the USL team will be called into the first team and they will not be given the DP contract. Cost efficient does not just mean cheap, it can also mean spending your money wisely. Most fans are under the impression that Galaxy owner, AEG has cut the team’s funding and therefore has handicapped the team in which players they can sign. This is untrue. Though AEG was understandably upset that the team’s 2 most expensive players were on the bench by the end of the season, they did not put restrictions on who they can sign or for how much. It just means they need to spend their money more wisely. Look at it this way; spending $40,000 on buying a Tesla rather than a Kia. See the difference? AEG’s deep pockets will still be available to the Galaxy, they are simply asking to not overpay for weaker players and get a bargain on the better ones. This seems like a pretty logical and smart plan.
The offseason is still young and the Galaxy have all the resources needed to make another run at MLS Cup in 2017. Fans need to be patient and have more faith in a team that has historically been successful. Faith and patience by no means guarantees another title, but we should be giving this team the benefit of the doubt in how they work and what they’re capable of. Fans must understand that a title every year from now on is downright impossible and that mistakes will certainly always be made. This is ok. We learn from them and we move forward, just as the Galaxy always have. So fans, be patient, have faith, and take a wait and see approach before you chastise the team you claim to love.