Readers of this site know I have been harsh on Alexi Lalas in the past. Like here, here, and here. To get some closure, I am going to go ahead and write Alexi’s obituary as a GM in the hopes those who read it (i.e., MLS owners) will simply let his career as an executive rest in peace.
Alexi Lalas’s GM career (Jan. 2004 – Aug. 2008) was euthanized by AEG on August 11, 2008 after a long and painful bout with chronic underperformance.
In his first executive job as GM of the San Jose Earthquakes, Alexi managed to help move the team to Houston and trade away the Quakes’ rights to Landon Donovan to the Galaxy. It was not an auspicious start.
Yet, in 2005, his bosses at AEG decided he should be the President and GM for the MetroStars. While in New York, he oversaw the club’s transformation into the Red Bulls. He was now two for two on robbing his team’s fans of their club’s identity.
In 2006, Alexi found his way to California where he became the GM of the Galaxy. The Galaxy never would qualify for the playoffs while Alexi was GM, but he did manage to achieve the rebranding trifecta when he traded the Gals signature green-and-gold for Beckham blue. Hey, at least he got Donovan back, right?
Two and one-half years later, Lalas’s GM career was finally laid to rest at the HDC in Los Angeles. Survivors include David Beckham, Bruce Arena, Bob Bradley and fans of MLS everywhere.
Although I’m quite critical of Alexi’s prowess as an executive, I actually am quite fond of the man himself. He was a dedicated stalwart for the Nats and helped establish the MLS. He was a great player with an even greater goatee.
I say, bring the Goat back, Alexi. Grow it long. Just don’t think about any executive positions for awhile. Tour with Hootie. Play soccer with the stars.
Just don’t pick up the GM reins anywhere else, Alexi. Please.