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Nov 8, 2007

Los Angeles Galaxy appoint Gullit as coach

LOS ANGELES, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Former European Footballer of the Year Ruud Gullit has been appointed Frank Yallop's successor as coach of Los Angeles Galaxy.

The 45-year-old Dutchman, who previously coached Chelsea, Newcastle United and Feyenoord, will be introduced at a news conference at the Home Depot Center on Friday, the Major League Soccer (MLS) club said in a statement on Thursday.

The appointment of Gullit gives the club the highest-profile coach in MLS as well as the highest-profile player in former England captain David Beckham, who joined the club in July on a five-year deal.

Gullit has been offered a three-year contract, according to local media.

European Footballer of the Year in 1987, the flamboyant dreadlocked Dutchman epitomised the ethos of 'total football' with his all-round skills in several positions.

He joined AC Milan in 1987 for a then-world record £6million and, with compatriots Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten, helped the Italian club win the European Cup in 1989 and 1990.

Gullit played for Sampdoria and Chelsea late in his career before coaching Chelsea, Newcastle United and Feyenoord. He has been working as a television soccer analyst since 2006.

He coined the term 'sexy football' while commentating for the BBC during the 1996 European Championship in England.

On Monday, Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas told reporters his club were looking for a 'sexy' coach.

'We would certainly look to use this opportunity to bring in somebody who is going to have an impact on the Galaxy but also on the league and the sport in many of the same ways that David Beckham did,' Lalas said.

The Galaxy released Yallop from his contract on Monday, allowing the former Canada international to take charge of the San Jose Earthquakes.

Under Yallop, the Galaxy failed to reach the playoffs for the last two seasons.

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