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Curt Onalfo

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Curt Onalfo

Curt Onalfo
Personal information
Full name Curt Onalfo
Date of birth (1969-11-19) November 19, 1969
Place of birth São Paulo, Brazil
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1987–1990 Virginia Cavaliers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1992 La Ciotat
1994–1995 Connecticut Wolves
1995–1996 Los Angeles Galaxy 13 (0)
1995 Tampico Madero (loan)
1997 San Jose Clash 14 (1)
1998–1999 D.C. United 7 (0)
1998 MLS Pro 40 (loan) 2 (0)
1999 MLS Pro 40 (loan) 2 (0)
1999 Hampton Roads Mariners (loan) 2 (0)
1999 Maryland Mania (loan) 1 (0)
National team
1988 United States 1 (0)
1989 United States U-20
1992 United States U-23
Teams managed
2000–2002 D.C. United (assistant)
2001 D.C. United (interim)
2002 United States U-23 (assistant)
2003–2007 United States (assistant)
2007–2009 Kansas City Wizards
2010 D.C. United
2011– LA Galaxy (assistant)
2014– LA Galaxy II
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Curt Onalfo (born November 19, 1969) is an American former soccer player.

As a player, he played two seasons in France, two in the USISL, one in Mexico and four in Major League Soccer, achieving his most success with Los Angeles Galaxy and D.C. United. He also earned one caps with the United States national team. He has an extensive coaching résumé, mostly as an assistant at the professional and national team levels, and spent two years as the head coach of the Kansas City Wizards. In January 2014, he was named Head Coach of the newly formed LA Galaxy II, a reserve team that plays in the USL Pro.

Playing career


Though born in São Paulo, Onalfo grew up in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and played high school soccer at Ridgefield High School, before going on to play four years of college soccer at the University of Virginia under Bruce Arena[1] - an association that would serve him well in his later coaching career.[2]


His first professional experience came at La Ciotat, in the French fifth division,[3] but a six-month battle with Hodgkin's Disease in 1993 disrupted his career and almost ended his life.[4] After extensive chemotherapy, the cancer went into remission and Onalfo recovered, going on to play for the Connecticut Wolves of the USISL in 1994 and 1995. In 1995, he signed with Major League Soccer which was planning to begin its first season that year. When the league was forced to delay its first season until 1996, the league sent Onalfo on loan with Tampico Madero of the Mexican second division. He met and married his wife in Tampico and his family still maintain a home there; Onalfo also speaks fluent Spanish.[5] In February 1996, the Los Angeles Galaxy selected Onalfo in the eight round (seventy-fourth overall) in the inaugural draft. He would feature in almost half of the Galaxy's games that year, as well as the first MLS Cup.[6] He went on to play for the San Jose Clash (later the Earthquakes) in the next season, and then for D.C. United in 1998 and 1999, winning the MLS Cup with United in his last year. In 1999, United sent Onalfo on loan to MLS Pro 40, Virginia Beach Mariners and Maryland Mania.


In the late 80s and early 90s, Onalfo featured for the US national teams on both youth and senior levels, co-captaining the US U-20 national team at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship, the gold-medal-winning team of the 1991 Pan American Games,[7] and also the US squad at the 1992 Summer Olympics. In sum, he played over 100 games for the United States at various levels, though he was capped only once for the senior team.[4] That cap came in a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on June 14, 1988.[8]

Coaching career

After retiring, Onalfo continued to work with youth soccer in training, coaching, and technical director roles, as he had done throughout his playing days – for McLean Youth Soccer in Virginia, various teams in Ridgefield, CT, and for his own company, Curt Onalfo Soccer.[4]

His first managerial job in professional soccer came when he was hired as assistant coach to Thomas Rongen – later replaced by Ray Hudson – at D.C. United, a position he occupied from 2001 through 2002.[9] In the latter year, Onalfo left to become an assistant to Bruce Arena during the 2002–2006 stretch of Arena's tenure as coach of the US national team. In 2005, Onalfo was included among the final three candidates for the top job at the Colorado Rapids, eventually being passed over for Fernando Clavijo.[10]

On November 27, 2006, Onalfo was selected by Peter Vermes, technical director of the Kansas City Wizards, as the new head coach for the team, replacing interim coach Brian Bliss. He has indicated that he will urge an attacking style as a coach for the Wizards,[11] who had finished poorly in their previous season and failed to make the playoffs. Onalfo's skill as a communicator, his natural leadership – as evidenced by his captaincy of several US youth squads – his ability at scouting opponents, and his experience in evaluating talent have been cited as important reasons for his selection.[12]

With the Wizards in sixth place in MLS's Eastern Conference with a 5–6–7 record and coming off a 6–0 road loss to FC Dallas two nights earlier, Onalfo was dismissed on August 3, 2009. He finished with a 27–29–22 record with the ballclub.[13] "Our shareholder group is thankful for Curt Onalfo's service over the last two-and-a-half seasons, but we felt a change needed to be made", Wizards president Robb Heineman said. "We are committed to developing high-performance and consistency around our club."

He was hired as the head coach of D.C. United on December 28, 2009.[14] On August 4, 2010, Onalfo was dismissed as head coach of D.C. United.[15] On January 27, 2011, Curt was named assistant coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy, reuniting with head coach Bruce Arena, with whom he formerly coached for the US National Team and played for at D.C. United in 1998. Curt was also named head coach of the Galaxy's reserve team the same day.


  1. ^ Jones, Grahame L. "Kansas City Wizards hire Onalfo as coach", Los Angeles Times, November 28, 2006, retrieved December 1, 2006.
  2. ^ Connolly, Marc. "Onalfo Gets His Shot",, November 27, 2006, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  3. ^ Josephs, Joey. "Onalfo Becomes Head Coach of KC Wizards", Soccer Scene USA, November 27, 2006, retrieved December 1, 2006.
  4. ^ a b c "Curt Onalfo" (Bio), Curt Onalfo Soccer, 2004, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  5. ^ "Pre-Game Notes: U.S. MNT vs. Mexico - Sept. 2, 2005",, September 2, 2005, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  6. ^ "MLS Cup History", National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  7. ^ Litterer, Dave. "MLS Players Biographies", April 17, 1997, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  8. ^ USA - Details of International Matches 1980-1989
  9. ^ "Rapids Narrow List of Final Head Coaching Candidates"., December 1, 2004, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  10. ^ Galarcep, Ives. "No more retreads please", ESPNSoccernet, December 24, 2006, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  11. ^ Falkoff, Robert. "Onalfo Tabbed to Coach Wizards",, November 27, 2006, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  12. ^ ASkyler. "Curt Onalfo to Assume Head Coaching Responsibilities of KC Wizards", PaddockTalk, November 27, 2006, retrieved December 3, 2006.
  13. ^ "KC Wizards Axe Head Coach Curt Onalfo". 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  14. ^ DC United name Onalfo head coach
  15. ^ [1]

External links

  • Kansas City Wizards head coach profile
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