Curt Onalfo might just be on a path to become the first-ever American to coach in Mexico’s top division.
Sources tell Metro that this week, Onalfo interviewed with Mexican club Atlas this week and that he is a finalist for the position. Onalfo had coached the LA Galaxy through the midpoint of a rebuilding season before being let go by the team.
Capped once by the United States national team, Onalfo has an extensive resume of coaching both in MLS and with the United States program. His head coaching positions include D.C. United (once as an interim head and then more recently as head coach), Kansas City and the recent stint with the Galaxy.
The Brazilian-born Onalfo played several seasons in MLS, first with San Jose and then in D.C.
Onaflo has been on staff with the Galaxy since 2011, helping then head coach Brice Arena win three MLS Cups while also serving as head coach of LA Galaxy II. He took over the club as head coach, his combined record with the MLS side and USL team during that stretch was 51-35-25.
Recently, Onalfo has spent some time with the U-20 national team, serving as an assistant under Tab Ramos.
Were he to get the job, Onalfo would become the first American to ever coach in Mexico’s first division.
It might be an uphill battle for him to get the job. Atlas is struggling at the moment and is a candidate to get relegated. Historically, Mexican teams in crisis have favored a head coach known as a “bomber” to come in and settle things.
These coaches, typically veterans and often Mexicans who have coached in the league before, come in and douse the flames and keep the team afloat for a season or two. So while it might be difficult for Onalfo, despite his credentials, to get the job at Atlas it may not be the last time his name is circulated for a job in Mexico.
The timing, just might not be perfect at this moment given Atlas’ dire season and the tendency of clubs looking to simply avoid relegation rather than engage in a much-needed rebuild.