LAFC sign head coach Steve Cherundolo to contract extension
LAFC have signed head coach Steve Cherundolo and his staff to contract extensions following back-to-back MLS Cup appearances in his first two seasons in charge.
Since taking over ahead of the 2022 campaign, Cherundolo has raised the standard at BMO Stadium by guiding the team to a domestic double in his first season, winning MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield with 67 points from 34 regular season games — the first coach in league history to accomplish that feat.
The former USMNT and Hannover 96 figure led the Black and Gold to a third-place finish in the Western Conference in 2023 as the team fell just short in its pursuit of back-to-back MLS Cups in their 2-1 defeat to Columbus Crew.
Overall, Cherundolo has compiled a 51W-15D-28L record in 94 games in charge across all competitions since being appointed in January 2022.
“In two years with LAFC, Steve has proven to be one of the top coaches in our league. When we hired Steve, we were confident that his leadership qualities and unique blend of international and domestic experience would be the perfect fit for LAFC, and he has more than delivered on our high expectations,” LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington said in a release.
“I am also thrilled to reward the great work of the technical staff and continue to work with Ante [Razov], Mark [dos Santos], and Oka [Nikolov] in 2024 and beyond. We are also excited to have Enrique work with the first team as an assistant coach after contributing so much to this club as a coach at all levels, including LAFC2 last season.”
LAFC have continued to be amongst the highest-scoring teams since Cherundolo’s hiring, scoring 66 in 2022 (the second-most in MLS) and 52 in 2023 (seventh-most) while boasting one of the best defenses in the league.
The Black and Gold conceded just 38 goals in 2022 (third-least) and 39 (tied for fourth-least) in 2023, giving them the foundation to compete for silverware.
“I am excited to continue our journey together after two emotional, invigorating, and successful years,” Cherundolo said.
“I am proud and grateful to share the sideline again with an incredible coaching staff. I would also like to thank John, his staff and the owners for their tireless work and support for our team. Together with our phenomenal fans, we remain hungry and prepared for more.”
Cherundolo and LAFC will aim for a better 2024, as the team reached three finals in MLS Cup, CONCACAF Champions Cup (formerly known as the Champions League) and Campeones Cup but came away empty-handed.
With Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga leading the way, LAFC will soon begin preparations for their 2024 MLS campaign as they take on Seattle Sounders in their first game of the season, a rematch of the 2023 Western Conference semifinal.