For the second time in three seasons, Dominic Kinnear is back as interim coach of the Galaxy.
Kinnear, who joined the Galaxy in 2017 as an assistant under Sigi Schmid, took over for the last month of the 2018 season when Schmid stepped down.
Sunday night will be his first of three games in a week back in the interim role, replacing Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was fired Thursday.
“Sadly, this is my second time doing this,” Kinnear said. “The first time, I’ll be honest with you, was much more difficult. Sigi (Schmid) and I had a wonderful relationship that spanned many years, so when I first found out about that my heart was completely broken. I had a conversation with Sigi and Sigi was completely behind me taking over the team for the rest of the season. It was very hard for me to do.
“Sometimes when this happens, you’re either bad luck, experienced or both … the first thing I said to them was we have to understand that we’re all in the locker room together because of Guillermo. He was responsible for us all being in the locker room, whether a player, coach or staff member. And then on the other hand, we’re all responsible for him not being in the locker room, so we all have to take responsibility.”
The Galaxy (5-11-3, 18 points, 0.95 PPG) hosts Real Salt Lake (7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet) at Dignity Health Sports Park. The Galaxy is in last place in the Western Conference, but has yet to be eliminated from playoff contention.
“We just want to win,” Kinnear said. “Give the guys some positive energy, a win always does that. We are chasing this playoff spot. We understand where we are in the standings, I think it is important that we step on the field with one attitude in mind to try and win the game at all costs and hopefully we walk off the field with that ambition met.”
Kinnear said he was asked to take over the team for the remainder of the season. There have been no discussions about coaching beyond that.
“I want to thank Guillermo for including me in his staff, the last couple of years,” he said. “I really enjoyed being around him and coaching with him. It is a very sad day when something like that happens, especially when you’re part of the staff.
“The last couple of days, first and foremost, have been sad. But in saying that, we do have a game (against Real Salt Lake), and just trying to get the guys as organized as possible, get their motivation and their thoughts toward the game.”
After Sunday night’s game, the Galaxy will host Seattle on Wednesday and then travel to Portland to face Vancouver in the regular-season finale Nov. 8.
“I think mathematically we’re still in,” Kinnear said of the playoff chase. “The first thing on my mind when I look at the standings is the Galaxy should not be last in the standings. We want to get the win … and not finish in last place is part of the ambition.”