LAFC hires USMNT veterinarian Steve Cherundolo as new head coach

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Former US international Steve Cherundolo has been appointed the new head coach of Los Angeles FC.

LAFC confirmed the hiring of Cherundolo on Monday to replace Bob Bradley, the first coach in the history of the expanding franchise.

Bradley and LAFC agreed to split late last year after the club missed the MLS playoffs for the first time. Bradley was quickly hired as the coach and sporting director of Toronto FC.

While LAFC fans pitch several prominent international names for the job, General Manager John Thorrington replaced the second-winning coach in league history with a MLS freshman who last season headed the Las Vegas Lights, the USL subsidiary of LAFC was.

Cherundolo grew up in the San Diego area and spent his entire professional career in Germany as a right-back for Hannover 96, where he eventually became the club’s captain for 16 seasons. He also played 87 games for the US national team, scoring two goals.

After retiring in 2014, he immediately switched to the coaching profession and spent five years in the Hanoverian system before he made brief positions in the coaching staff of Stuttgart, the US national team and the German youth national teams.

He took over in Las Vegas last year. The Lights went 6-23-3 in his only season in charge, finishing last at their conference, but the LAFC was pleased with Cherundolo’s development work.

For the upcoming season, which starts on February 26th, the LAFC has yet to make some personnel decisions. Former MLS MVP Carlos Vela is under contract until June, his supporting cast must be put together.

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