Will Kuntz has been awarded the top job at the Los Angeles Galaxy. Here’s why that’s great news.
CARSON, CA – On Tuesday, December 5th, Will Kuntz was appointed as General Manager of the LA Galaxy. Dan Beckerman makes this change before the 10th anniversary of the club’s last title.
As per the club announcement, Kuntz will assume responsibility for all of the club’s soccer operations, from the first team down to the academy. He takes over control of scouting, player acquisitions, salary cap, and budgets from Greg Vanney, who continues in his role as Head Coach.
Kuntz is not exactly new to the general manager role. At LAFC, he served as assistant GM to General Manager John Thorrington. They collaborated to build a large part of a squad that is looking to repeat as MLS Champions this Saturday. Much of the club’s success is thanks to Kuntz’s efforts in scouting and salary budget management, which allowed the signings of players like Carlos Vela and Gareth Bale.
Although Will Kuntz has only been with the Galaxy since April, he has already proven his value. The only opportunity so far to express his talents came in the most recent summer window. The club was still under sanctions for mistakes made in the Klein era, meaning that they were only able to target free agents. Despite restrictions and having spent little time in Carson, Kuntz was able to pull off the signings of Maya Yoshida, Billy Sharp, Michael Barrios, Edwin Cerrillo, and Diego Fagundez, all of whom perfectly addressed the club’s most pressing needs.
Together, Kuntz and Vanney are the team chosen by AEG President Dan Beckerman to lead the Galaxy out of their banter era. Despite many accusing Beckerman of being motivated purely by money, the reasoning behind these choices is sound. Greg Vanney is a coach with a treble-winning pedigree who has spent the last nearly 3 years molding the club’s footballing philosophy to his liking. Will Kuntz has experience winning titles with the New York Yankees and LAFC. Neither has a tracklist deep enough to silence questions about their experience, but they are both packed with hits.
With this duo, the club has finally set up a structure that may allow them to thrive. Before this decision, Greg Vanney had an overwhelming amount of responsibility. Speaking to The Athletic, Beckerman said, “I want to thank Greg for taking on so many additional responsibilities during the 2023 season… This promotion will enable Greg to resume the role for which he was hired…and partner with Will to build upon their shared vision.” With Kuntz taking over these extra roles and essentially becoming Vanney’s boss, the Galaxy’s coach can finally breathe and focus on coaching.
Although it is easy to see this as a demotion for Greg Vanney, it is important to remember that Vanney fought to bring Will Kuntz to the Galaxy. By bringing in one of the industry’s most exciting young talents and helping put him in a position to orchestrate, Vanney has contributed massively to the future of the LA Galaxy.
The two men in charge in Carson are entering a very exciting time. As December draws on, Galaxy fans will be closer and closer to hearing the fruits of their collaboration. With some time to understand the team’s exigencies and identify targets behind them and plenty of backing from parent company AEG, there is potential for Will Kuntz and Greg Vanney to make some big moves soon.
As the transfer market currently stands, big-name marketing signings that were definitive of the previous regime look difficult to pull off. Rumors involving Álvaro Morata, Hirving Lozano, and Alexandre Lacazatte have been confirmed by Corner of the Galaxy’s Josh Guesman as old rumors that carry little weight now. Supporters are more likely to be hearing of “younger or in-their-prime players rather than of big-name stars at the end of their careers” in late December and January, according to The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio and Tom Bogert, who spoke with Kuntz regarding his promotion.
Regardless of which players the Galaxy announces in the coming weeks, a very welcome air of optimism has fallen over Galaxyland. The organization continues to show signs that things are beginning to change for the better. As General Manager of the Los Angeles Galaxy, it is up to Will Kuntz to make sure the club makes good on the promise of an exciting 2024. For once, it feels like the guys upstairs might have what it takes.
PHOTO: LA Galaxy