Curt Onalfo

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Curt Onalfo
Personal information
Full name Curt Onalfo
Date of birth (1969-11-19) November 19, 1969 (age 48)
Place of birth São Paulo, Brazil
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1987–1990 Virginia Cavaliers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1992 La Ciotat
1994–1995 Connecticut Wolves
1995–1996 Los Angeles Galaxy 13 (0)
1995 Tampico Madero (loan)
1997 San Jose Clash 6 (0)
1998–1999 D.C. United 4 (0)
1998 MLS Pro 40 (loan) 2 (0)
1999 Maryland Mania (loan) 1 (0)
1999 MLS Pro 40 (loan) 2 (0)
1999 Mariners (loan) 2 (0)
National team
1988 United States 1 (0)
1989 United States U-20
1992 United States U-23
Teams managed
2000–2002 D.C. United (assistant)
2001 D.C. United (interim)
2002 United States U-23 (assistant)
2003–2007 United States (assistant)
2007–2009 Kansas City Wizards
2010 D.C. United
2011–2014 LA Galaxy (assistant)
2014–2016 LA Galaxy II
2017 LA Galaxy
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Curt Onalfo (born November 19, 1969) is an American former soccer player and coach. He most recently served as the head coach of the LA Galaxy.

As a player, he played two seasons in France, two in the USISL, one in Mexico and four in Major League Soccer, achieving his most success with the Los Angeles Galaxy and D.C. United. He also earned one cap with the United States national team.

He has an extensive coaching résumé, having served as head coach of three MLS clubs. Following a five-game losing streak with the Galaxy, Onalfo was removed from his role as head coach of the team on July 27, 2017.[1]

Youth and amateur[edit]

Onalfo was born in São Paulo, Brazil, but grew up in the United States in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and played high school soccer at Ridgefield High School. He went on to play four years of college soccer at the University of Virginia under Bruce Arena[2] - an association that would serve him well in his later coaching career.[3]

Playing career[edit]

Professional[edit]

His first professional experience came at La Ciotat, in the French fifth division,[4] but a six-month battle with Hodgkin's Disease in 1993 disrupted his career and almost ended his life.[5] After extensive chemotherapy, the cancer went into remission and Onalfo recovered, going on to play for the Connecticut Wolves of the USISL in 1994 and 1995. In 1995, he signed with Major League Soccer which was planning to begin its first season that year. When the league was forced to delay its first season until 1996, the league sent Onalfo on loan with Tampico Madero of the Mexican second division. He met and married his wife in Tampico and his family still maintain a home there; Onalfo also speaks fluent Spanish.[6] In February 1996, the Los Angeles Galaxy selected Onalfo in the eight round (seventy-fourth overall) in the inaugural draft. He would feature in almost half of the Galaxy's games that year, as well as the first MLS Cup.[7] He went on to play for the San Jose Clash (later the Earthquakes) in the next season, and then for D.C. United in 1998 and 1999, winning the MLS Cup with United in his last year. In 1999, United sent Onalfo on loan to MLS Pro 40, Virginia Beach Mariners and Maryland Mania.

International[edit]

In the late 80s and early 90s, Onalfo featured for the U.S. national teams on both youth and senior levels, co-captaining the U.S. U-20 national team at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship, the gold-medal-winning team of the 1991 Pan American Games,[8] and also the U.S. squad at the 1992 Summer Olympics. In sum, he played over 100 games for the United States at various levels, though he was capped only once for the senior team.[5] That cap came in a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on June 14, 1988.[9]

Coaching career[edit]

After retiring, Onalfo continued to work with youth soccer in training, coaching, and technical director roles, as he had done throughout his playing days – for McLean Youth Soccer in Virginia, various teams in Ridgefield, CT, and for his own company, Curt Onalfo Soccer.[5]

His first managerial job in professional soccer came when he was hired as assistant coach to Thomas Rongen – later replaced by Ray Hudson – at D.C. United, a position he occupied from 2001 through 2002.[10] In the latter year, Onalfo left to become an assistant to Bruce Arena during the 2002–2006 stretch of Arena's tenure as coach of the U.S. national team. In 2005, Onalfo was included among the final three candidates for the top job at the Colorado Rapids, eventually being passed over for Fernando Clavijo.[11]

In November 2006, Onalfo was appointed as head coach of the Kansas City Wizards, replacing interim coach Brian Bliss. He pledged to install an attacking style as a coach for the Wizards,[12] who had finished poorly in their previous season and failed to make the playoffs. Wizards technical director Peter Vermes cited Onalfo's skill as a communicator, leadership, scouting, and talent evaluation in announcing the hire.[13]

With the Wizards in sixth place in MLS's Eastern Conference with a 5–6–7 record and coming off a 6–0 road loss to FC Dallas two nights earlier, Onalfo was dismissed on August 3, 2009. He finished with a 27–29–22 record with the club.[14]

He was hired as the head coach of D.C. United in December 2009.[15] On August 4, 2010, after D.C. United started the season with a record of 3-12-3, Onalfo was dismissed as head coach of D.C. United.[16]

In January 27, 2011, Onalfo was named assistant coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy, reuniting with head coach Bruce Arena, with whom he formerly coached for the U.S. National Team and played for at D.C. United in 1998. He was also named head coach of the Galaxy's reserve team the same day. Onalfo continued serving as reserve coach when the reserve team entered the United Soccer League as a full club. Following the departure of Arena to coach the United States national team, Onalfo was promoted to first team head coach for the 2017 season.[17] However, once again, this tenure lasted less than a full season, with Onalfo being fired on July 27, 2017 after a 6-10-4 record.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LA Galaxy boss Curt Onalfo fired, replaced by Sigi Schmid". ESPNFC. ESPN. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 
  2. ^ Jones, Grahame L. "Kansas City Wizards hire Onalfo as coach", Los Angeles Times, November 28, 2006, retrieved December 1, 2006.
  3. ^ Connolly, Marc. "Onalfo Gets His Shot" Archived December 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., USsoccerplayers.com, November 27, 2006, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  4. ^ Josephs, Joey. "Onalfo Becomes Head Coach of KC Wizards", Soccer Scene USA, November 27, 2006, retrieved December 1, 2006.
  5. ^ a b c "Curt Onalfo" (Bio), Curt Onalfo Soccer, 2004, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  6. ^ "Pre-Game Notes: U.S. MNT vs. Mexico - Sept. 2, 2005", USsoccer.com, September 2, 2005, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  7. ^ "MLS Cup History" Archived December 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  8. ^ Litterer, Dave. "MLS Players Biographies", April 17, 1997, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  9. ^ USA - Details of International Matches 1980-1989 Archived September 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Rapids Narrow List of Final Head Coaching Candidates". ColoradoRapids.com, December 1, 2004, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  11. ^ Galarcep, Ives. "No more retreads please", ESPNSoccernet, December 24, 2006, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  12. ^ Falkoff, Robert. "Onalfo Tabbed to Coach Wizards", MLSnet.com, November 27, 2006, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  13. ^ ASkyler. "Curt Onalfo to Assume Head Coaching Responsibilities of KC Wizards" Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., PaddockTalk, November 27, 2006, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  14. ^ "KC Wizards Axe Head Coach Curt Onalfo". Goal.com. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  15. ^ "D.C. United Name Onalfo Head Coach - Goal.com". December 28, 2009. 
  16. ^ Goff, Steven. D.C. United fires Coach Curt Onalfo,Washington Post, August 4, 2010, retrieved December 27, 2014.
  17. ^ "Curt Onalfo appoints full LA Galaxy coaching staff". January 10, 2017. 
  18. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: LA Galaxy fire Curt Onalfo, bring back legend Sigi Schmid". July 27, 2017. 

External links[edit]