After three years serving as LA Galaxy general manager, Dennis te Kloese has officially departed the role.
Te Kloese has been unveiled as CEO at Feyenoord, set to take over at the Dutch club in January, after it was widely speculated he would be departing his role with the Galaxy this offseason.
The GM’s tenure with the Galaxy was full of ups and downs. Charged with ironing out the academy-to-first-team pipeline and stopping the youth ranks from bleeding talented players going pro elsewhere, one could say he brought considerable stability in that regard, signing a slew of homegrown players, many of whom played minutes at MLS level as well. On top of that, te Kloese got the top two current homegrowns, Julian Araujo and Efrain Alvarez, to sign contract extensions to keep them around the Galaxy and hopefully increase their transfer value down the line.
On the coaching and transfer and results front, it’s been much more of a mixed bag. Guillermo Barros Schelotto turned out to be totally outmatched in MLS as a head coach, and while Greg Vanney has only had one season so far, he looks like an upgrade, in spite of a disappointing end to the season. Under Schelotto, the Galaxy were often glacial at making transfers, something the team desperately needed, while under Vanney, they may have swung a bit far in the other direction, turning over nearly two-thirds of the roster in 2021. Still, Te Kloese helped land Chicharito as a Designated Player signing, with the player enduring a terrible 2020 season before coming good this year. And finally, the Galaxy missed the playoffs two of the three seasons Te Kloese was at the club, which while he wasn’t the coach, isn’t a ringing endorsement for a team that expects to be competing for trophies.
I think Te Kloese is well-connected and his work to connect the academy to the reserve team to the first team may continue to pay off in real ways in the coming years, to the club’s benefit. But the stark contrast from signings made under Schelotto to Vanney seems to show that Te Kloese was not really shaping the roster as much as facilitating all the moves the head coach wanted. Given the results, it’s unclear if that was the right approach or not, but don’t be shocked if we see Te Kloese back in North American soccer again in the future.
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