SOCCER

With 'Punting on This Season' Unacceptable, Galaxy Replaces Coach Gullit, Fires GM Lalas

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ruud Gullit has resigned as coach of the slumping Los Angeles Galaxy for personal reasons, and president-general manager Alexi Lalas also is out of a job.

"We are stepping up and doing what we need to do to straighten this thing out," Galaxy investor-operator Tim Leiweke told the Associated Press yesterday.

The MLS team, led by English star David Beckham and Landon Donovan, is on a seven-match winless streak as it plays Chivas USA on Thursday night.

"There are two good people that for different reasons aren't part of this organization today, and that's a shame," Leiweke said. "The fact is, the players have to look deep inside themselves and understand they have to be responsible for some of this.

"Am I angry we find ourselves in the situation we find ourselves in? Yes. This is not a fun week. The Galaxy hasn't made the playoffs for a couple years. Punting on this season is not acceptable. It starts Thursday."

Much was expected when Beckham joined the Galaxy last season. But he was limited to five games because of injuries and the Galaxy went 9-14-7 for 34 points, and were eliminated from playoff contention on the final day.

Gullit will be succeeded on an interim basis by 38-year-old Cobi Jones, a first-year assistant who retired following last season after spending his entire pro career with the Galaxy.

The 45-year-old Gullit signed a three-year contract last November, becoming one of MLS's highest-paid coaches.

-- From News Services


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