Editorial: Tim Leiweke’s departure
March 14th, 2013
Earlier this morning news broke that Tim Leiweke had left his position at AEG by “mutual consent”.
Tim had been President and CEO of AEG since 1996 and has personally been involved with Galaxy management since day one.
With AEG owning multiple teams in MLS in the earlier years, Tim was involved in the operations and then sale of the Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquakes, D.C. United, New York MetroStars and later the continued operations of the Houston Dynamo. Soccers progress in this league is in part due to AEG and Tim Leiweke’s desire to be the best, see MLS succeed as a league, and win.
Tim was instrumental in the pursuing and capture of David Beckham in early 2007 changing the face, operation and attitude of MLS with the “Designated Player” rule and Robbie Keane in 2011 after the Juan Pablo Angel experiment failed to produce the necessary results.
Under Tim’s leadership and steward the Los Angeles Galaxy sit atop the US soccer market and for that we are thankful.
That is the business side of Tim Leiweke’s time with The Galaxy and MLS.
Now I do have my own thoughts.
To some, Leiweke is still most known for his famous locker room “heads-will-roll” speech while Ruud Gullit was the manager of the team. Others blamed him for Cobi missing the playoffs in his last season. For all the success the Galaxy had under Tim, he also oversaw the only 2 seasons we’ve ever missed the playoffs (2007, 2008). It was no secret in MLS circles that Tim and AEG ceded some control of management to Beckham and his people upon first arrival. By no stretch was Leiweke perfect, but after the debacle of the ‘07 and ‘08 seasons, Tim reached out to the most successful coach in US soccer history, Bruce Arena, to take full control as General Manager and Head Coach of the team. Arena immediately led the Galaxy to the MLS Cup final in 2009.
It’s one of my personal favorite Leiweke moments; while the Riot Squad, ACB, and traveling Galaxy gans were pre-gaming at the ‘09 Cup final at a Seattle bar called “The Hawk’s Nest” in comes Leiweke to celebrate with the fans. He proclaims to the crowd that he loves their support and that they were able to travel up for the final and that for the next hour, drinks were on him. He proceeds to slam down his credit card in typical Leiweke fashion and the bar gets rushed by LARS and ACB members. I can tell you from first-hand account I heard someone order a full pint of Jamison. 15 minutes later, Tim walks up to the bar, checks the receipt and then motions the throat slash to the bartender saying to cut everyone off.
Between the two supporters groups we drank $2700 worth of alcohol in 15 minutes.
Say what you will about Leiweke, and there were certainly mistakes made when David first arrived, but the one thing I will always remember from him was when we won the cup in 2011 and the cup in 2012. No one spent more time at the Riot Squad section celebrating with the fans than Leiweke. He came over immediately after receiving the trophy and shook hands with everyone in the front row and said “thank you for your support and thank you for coming back”.
If by chance Tim ever see’s this we wish you the best. Thanks for the years.
- By Zero Cool