LA Galaxy was dealt a devastating blow on November 6 in their final 2016 MLS Playoffs match. The game went into overtime then penalty kicks, only for the Galaxy’s quest towards a sixth MLS Cup to be cut short at Dick’s Sporting Goods Stadium. The Race for Seis came to a deafening halt for the second year in a row. And though the last year’s termination in Seattle brought with it a series of changes, this year felt more conclusive.
We all knew change was coming. As the fans at the watch party at StubHub Center watched Jelle Van Damme and Sebastian Lletget mirror our tears, the rumors immediately began to fly as to who would stay and who would go.
On Thursday November 17th, LA Galaxy announced that Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan would be leaving after eight years of service to the club. When I first heard this announcement, I knew that this was just the tip of the iceberg.
But who exactly is Dave Sarachan? Dave was a professional soccer player in college and in both the NASL and MISL leagues. He has coached alongside the current Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena for years. From college soccer at the University of Virginia, to D.C. United, and even with the United States Men’s National team.
However, Dave’s coaching experience was not limited to the position of associate coach. He was head coach at Cornell University for nine years. After helping Bruce bring the U.S. Men’s National Team to their highest position in a World Cup ever, he returned to MLS as the head coach of the Chicago Fire. There he led the club to winning a Supporter Shield, an appearance in an MLS Cup Final, and two U.S. Open Cup Championships, in 2003 and 2006.
Dave joined LA Galaxy in August 2008. With Bruce as head coach, they helped make it one of the most successful in MLS history.
Where will we see Dave next? Will he be back at the US National team (along with Bruce), will he be a head or associate coach for another MLS team or will he take another opportunity in the world of soccer? Wherever he goes, one thing is certain: Dave will continue to make an incredible impact on the history of soccer. For now, all I can say is thank you Dave for the eight incredible years that you gave the LA Galaxy. I wish you the best wherever the next steps in your journey take you.
*Photo credit – USA Today – Ron Chenoy