Remember Cobi Jones? Well, now you can call him “Coach.”

There was a time when the U.S. men’s soccer team could give Italy a run for their money. This was in 1992, specifically at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. That squad included the talents of Tony Meola, Steve Snow, and Alexi Lalas. The star of that team, however, was the speedy goal-scorer Cobi Jones.

After stints in South America, Europe, and for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS, Jones retired from professional soccer in 2007. But the Galaxy has called upon the great one once again, naming him interim head coach as the team reevaluates their recent performance. He will replace first-year coach Ruud Gullit who has resigned for personal reasons. The major changes include the dismissal of general manager Alexi Lalas, Jones’ former teammate.

Lalas arrived in Los Angeles in April 2006 after holding a similar position with both the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes, which, like the Galaxy, were owned by AEG. Handing his responsibilities will be Paul Bravo, the team’s director of soccer and Tom Payne, the assistant general manager.

“With Ruud moving on, we believe that this is the right time to make more sweeping changes throughout the organization,” Leiweke said. “Our commitment continues to be focused on not only winning the MLS Cup this and every season but to build a club capable of competing at the international level. This decision is the right one for the organization, the right one for the players and the right one for our fans. We thank Alexi for the tremendous hard work and dedication he brought to his job each and every day.”

This has been an extremely disappointing season for the Galaxy. They are on a seven-game losing streak and rapidly falling within their division. The fanfare has seemingly died down despite the solid play by David Beckham and Landon Donovan. It’s unclear whether Jones’ abilities as a player will transfer over to his new coaching position. One thing is for sure, he’s a soccer icon and a Los Angeles darling, and his presence will arouse needed fan support at home games.

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