LA Galaxy add Mike Muñoz to Academy Coaching Staff

Former Galaxy midfielder returns to the club as part of the Galaxy Academy

CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, July 10, 2013) – The LA Galaxy announced today the club has added Mike Muñoz, the 2010-11 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Coach of the Year, to the coaching staff of the LA Galaxy Academy. Muñoz, 29, is a former LA Galaxy midfielder with a career coaching record of 53-21-15 in three seasons as a head coach in the Development Academy.

Muñoz has been a coach in the Development Academy since retiring from the game in 2009. He began his coaching career in the 2009-10 season when he served as an assistant coach with the Galaxy U-16’s. His first chance to be a head coach came the following season, when he was named head coach of the Real Salt Lake-Arizona U-16’s ahead of the start of the 2010-11 campaign. That season, Muñoz was named the Development Academy U-16 Coach of the Year after guiding RSL-Arizona to a 16-8-4 overall record and a win in the Development Academy Finals Third Place match.

The past two seasons, Muñoz has served as the head coach of the Chivas USA U-16’s, guiding the club to consecutive playoff appearances and a combined record of 37-13-11. This past season, Muñoz’s team captured the Southwest Division title with a 22-4-5 record and a Western Conference-leading 84 goals.

Along with his Academy coaching experience, which also includes serving as head coach of the RSL-Arizona Academy U-18 team for a portion of the 2010-11 season, Muñoz has spent time as an assistant coach with Chivas USA and the U.S. U-15 National Team.

“Mike Munoz is an accomplished young coach with a proven track record and we are excited to be adding him to our coaching staff,” said LA Galaxy Academy Director Peter Vagenas. “The Galaxy Academy will continue to help nurture and produce players for our first team and Mike, who has already shown the ability to develop young talent, will play a major role in that endeavor.”

A native of Bellflower, Calif., Muñoz is a graduate of Los Alamitos High School, where he played on the varsity soccer team along with 2010 FIFA World Cup veteran Jonathan Bornstein. He played collegiately at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned All-Pac-10 Second Team honors as a freshman and All-Pac-10 First Team honors after his sophomore and junior season. His senior year was limited to just five games due to a right knee injury.

After college, Muñoz was selected by Chivas in the third round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft. He played two seasons for Chivas USA, making his professional debut on Aug. 13, 2005 at RFK Stadium against D.C. United. Muñoz played for the California Victory of the USL-1 in 2007 and returned to MLS in 2008, signing with the Galaxy on Aug. 1. He made his first team debut with the Galaxy on September 6, coming on as a second half substitute against Real Salt Lake, while also appearing in 10 Reserve League games.

“It is an honor to be a part of this club and to work with the LA Galaxy Academy,” said Muñoz, who ended his playing a career and began his coaching career with the Galaxy. “The primary reason that I decided to join the staff is Peter Vagenas and the rest of his coaching staff. I have enormous amount of respect for Pete as a player and as a person and I know he is the right man for this job to move the program forward. I’m very excited to get started and helping to continue to grow the Galaxy Academy.”

Muñoz’s first game as head coach of the Galaxy Academy U-16’s in the Development Academy will take place on Sept. 21, when LA kicks off the 2013-14 season in Seattle against the Sounders FC Academy. As part of the trip to the Pacific Northwest, the Galaxy Academy will also face the Portland Timbers Academy on Sept. 22, the following day. His first game at StubHub Center will be against the San Diego Surf Academy on Sept. 28. The rest of the Galaxy’s 2013-14 schedule can be found here.

The LA Galaxy Academy has been a part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy since its inception in 2007. The Galaxy Academy program has produced five Homegrown Players, including four the last two years, forwards Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal in 2011 as well as defender Oscar Sorto and forward Gyasi Zardes in 2012. Tristan Bowen, who currently plays for Chivas USA, became the first player in MLS history to be signed directly from the club’s Academy as a Homegrown Player in 2008. In 2011, the Galaxy U-16’s won the 2010-11 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship. The Galaxy Academy has also been invited to participate in the Real Sociedad Youth Invitational Tournament in Spain and in the prestigious Gordon Jago Super Group at Dallas Cup.