CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, June 22, 2011) – The LA Galaxy announced today that Mauricio Cienfuegos has been hired as a technical coach for the LA Galaxy Academy. Cienfuegos, 43, who led the club to its first MLS Cup championship in 2002 and three titles in his eight years with the Galaxy, will work primarily with attacking players within the younger age groups of the Galaxy Academy.
A Galaxy legend and former club captain, Cienfuegos holds a USSF “A” coaching license and has experience as a head coach at the professional level, coaching Nejapa Futbol Club in El Salvador’s First Division in 2008. He will report to Chris Klein, Senior Director of the LA Galaxy Academy.
“We’re excited to have Mauricio Cienfuegos joins us and use some of his expertise from all his years of coaching and playing,” Klein said. “He is one of the greatest players in the history of the LA Galaxy and still has that fire. He has a great desire to work with, what we hope to be, the future of this club.”
Cienfuegos’ main focus will be on best practices and techniques for attacking players, including body movement, body positioning, utilizing the different parts of the foot, and when and how to utilize them, among other facets of an attacking player’s game.
“I’m very happy to be back with the club, and to have the opportunity to work with the young players in the Academy is something that I’m very much looking forward to,” Cienfuegos said. “I’m going to be doing something that brings a lot of joy to me, which is teaching the game to kids. Hopefully, one of those players will go on to play for the first team, that’s everyone’s goal.”
A founding member of the LA Galaxy, Cienfuegos spent eight seasons (1996-2003) with the club, appearing in 206 MLS games, making 198 starts. He scored 35 goals and tallied 80 assists with the Galaxy and ranks in the top five for goals (5th) and assists (2nd) in the club’s all-time record books.
A seven-time All-Star and three-time selection for the MLS Best XI, Cienfuegos helped the Galaxy capture three of the club’s five championships, leading his team to the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup, the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup. Additionally, he led the Galaxy to the league semifinals six times (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002) and played in MLS Cup four times (1996, 1999, 2001 and 2002).
The Salvadorian’s career also included stops at Luis Angel Firpo of El Salvador as well as Morelia, Santos Laguna and Tampico in Mexico. Cienfuegos, who made his debut for El Salvador’s National Team at the age of 19, was also an important figure of La Selecta during his playing days, appearing in 32 World Cup qualifiers from 1988 to 2000.