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Galaxy players shocked, saddened by Tim Leiweke's departure

March 15, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • AEG chief Tim Leiweke sits next to Patrick Soon-Shiong at Los Angeles City Hall during a council vote on documents that would pave the way for the construction of a football stadium in downtown L.A.
AEG chief Tim Leiweke sits next to Patrick Soon-Shiong at Los Angeles City… (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles…)

Galaxy players said Friday they were surprised and saddened that Tim Leiweke no longer was chief executive of the soccer team's owner, Anschutz Entertainment Group.

AEG said Thursday that Leiweke, who, with AEG owner Philip Anschutz, was a major force in building the Galaxy and Major League Soccer, had left the company "by mutual agreement." There was no elaboration.

"Everyone was just shocked," defender Omar Gonzalez said after the Galaxy -- the reigning MLS champion -- practiced at Home Depot Center, another AEG property, in advance of Sunday's game against Chivas USA.

"It's sad to see him go, but I'm sure he'll be fine wherever he lands," Gonzalez said.

Forward Robbie Keane, an Irish national team star who signed with the Galaxy in 2011, said "everybody is surprised" by Leiweke's departure. "He's been great for this club, for this league."

"He's the one that brought me to this club, so I've got a lot to thank him for," Keane said. "He made it so easy for myself and my family, and I'm forever grateful for that and he'll always be a good friend for me."

Bruce Arena, the Galaxy's general manager and head coach, said losing Leiweke would not diminish AEG's effort to win another title.

But, he said, Leiweke was "one of the best things that's happened to me in my career, so I'm going to miss Tim. We're going to have to try to move forward and do the best we can."


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