Coaching Staff

Dominic Kinnear – Interim Head Coach

Kinnear has won two MLS Cups and recorded 166 wins, the third most in the league’s history.

Kinnear’s 166 wins in MLS rank only behind Schmid (228 wins) and current USMNT and former Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena (202). The former U.S. international is one of just four coaches in MLS history to have captured multiple MLS Cups as head coach, and one of just two to win in consecutive seasons. In 2006 and 2007, he led the Houston Dynamo to MLS Cup titles. Additionally, he served as an assistant coach for the San Jose Earthquakes’ MLS Cup victories in 2001 and 2003. He ranks third all-time in MLS Cup Playoff wins with 15 and reached the post-season in nine of his 13 seasons as a head coach.

Before his time as a coach, Kinnear played professional soccer across a 12-year career. His career began playing for the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks, San Jose Hawks and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers before signing with Necaxa of the Mexican First Division, leading them to the Mexican Cup in 1995. Following that, he signed with the APSL’s Seattle Sounders and was again a part of a championship-winning team. Kinnear was a member of the Colorado Rapids during Major League Soccer’s debut season in 1996, making 14 appearances. He was traded to the San Jose Clash the following season, making 28 appearances and scoring twice. He finished his playing career by spending three seasons with the Tampa Bay Mutiny (1998-2000), serving as team captain in 1999.

Internationally, he recorded 54 caps, nine goals and two assists for the U.S. national team. In 1993, he led the team in scoring with seven goals and one assist. On May 17, 1992, in Denver, Colorado. Kinnear captained the USMNT for their match against his native Scotland.

Jovan Kirovski - Technical Director

Jovan Kirovski, who retired following the 2011 season and served as an assistant coach for the Galaxy during the 2012 campaign, is the first Technical Director in the club’s history. Under the direction of Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena, Kirovski, who spent the first 12 years of his professional career playing in Europe, scouts and evaluates players locally and abroad while also helping establish relationships with clubs around the world. Additionally, Kirovski helps implement a core curriculum throughout the Galaxy Academy while evaluating the Academy’s coaches and players and helping to recruit the top local talent to join the club.

A native of Escondido, Calif., Kirovski began his professional soccer career in 1992 when he joined the youth ranks at Manchester United alongside players like David Beckham, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes. After four years with United, Kirovski moved to Germany, signing with Borussia Dortmund, where he became the first American to win the UEFA Champions League in May 1997. Seven months later, Kirovski became the first American to score a goal in the competition, doing so against Sparta Prague in December 1997 as Dortmund went on to reach the semifinals of the 1997-98 Champions League. He spent the 1998-99 season on loan with fellow German side FC Koln before heading to Portugal a year later when he signed with Sporting Lisbon. After one season in Portugal, Kirovski moved to England, spending one season in the Championship with Crystal Palace before moving on to the Premier League, signing with Birmingham City. He scored twice in 23 league matches for the Blues during the 2002/03 and 2003/04 seasons, helping them retain their Premier League status.

After more than a decade in Europe, Kirovski first arrived in MLS in February 2004, signing with the Galaxy. An All-Star in his first year with the club when he scored an MLS-career-high eight goals, Kirovski spent the first year and a half of his time in MLS with the Galaxy, tallying 12 goals and six assists in 48 games. He was traded to Colorado in September 2005 and helped the Rapids reach back-to-back Western Conference Championships in 2005 and 2006 before finishing as the club’s top scorer in 2007. After 12 goals in 61 games for the Rapids, as well as the first postseason goal of his career, Kirovski was traded to San Jose in midway through the 2008 season before he returned to the Galaxy in November 2008. Back with his first MLS club, Kirovski became a key veteran contributor to the club’s renaissance, playing in central midfield and occasionally up front. He played in 56 games over the last three seasons as well as five postseason matches in that time, scoring six goals and adding three assists as the Galaxy reestablished themselves as the premier club in Major League Soccer. He finished his MLS career with 30 goals and 13 assists in 174 regular season games while helping his teams win a pair of Supporters’ Shields and MLS Cup 2011 in the final two years of his playing career.

In addition to his club career, Kirovski, who holds his U.S. Soccer Federation’s “A” coaching license, made 62 appearances with the U.S. National Team, scoring nine times for his country during an 11-year international career. He made his National Team debut in October 1994 and scored his first goal a month later in a 3-0 win over Jamaica. He helped the U.S. qualify for the World Cup in 1998, 2002 and 2006 while also appearing in the 1995 Copa America, the 1996 and 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cups as well as the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cups. Kirovski collected his final cap in a U.S. uniform in April 2004, coming on as a second half substitute in a 1-0 win over Mexico in Dallas.

Kurt Schmid - Director of Player Personnel and Scouting

The LA Galaxy have added Kurt Schmid to the technical staff as the team’s Director of Player Personnel and Scouting, the club announced today. Kurt joins the Galaxy from Seattle Sounders FC, where he served on staff since 2009 as an Assistant Coach, Head Scout and Director of Player Personnel. 

Schmid was brought in by the club following the 2017 season. In his role with the LA Galaxy, Kurt Schmid will work directly in all soccer-related aspects of the LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II, specifically in scouting and identifying talent at the collegiate, national and international level. In addition to scouting and identifying talent, he will work closely with the Galaxy technical staff in areas regarding player evaluation, interacting with agents and facilitating MLS communication and CBA compliance.

Schmid joined Seattle Sounders FC in 2009 as an assistant coach and scout, a position he would serve in for seven seasons. During that time, he helped the Sounders to four U.S. Open Cups (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014) and one Supporters’ Shield (2014) before being named Head Scout in 2016. Immediately following Seattle’s 2016 MLS Cup win, he was promoted to Director of Player Personnel. In Seattle, Schmid was part of a technical staff that qualified for MLS Cup Playoffs in each season of his tenure. 

Prior to his time in Seattle, he worked at Saint Mary’s College as an Assistant Coach before assuming the same position at UC Irvine in 2007-08. While with UC Irvine, Schmid was a part of a staff that won Big West Conference championships during both the regular season and tournament in addition to earning an NCAA tournament berth, marking UC Irvine’s first time achieving those feats.

He was a member of the Region IV ODP boys’ coaching staff for two years and also coached at West Coast FC. Previously, he was a coach for South Bay Soccer Club and began his coaching career at South High School in Torrance, California.

Schmid played soccer at Wake Forest and UCLA, representing the Bruins’ 2002 side that earned an NCAA Championship. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Business-Economics.

Ezra Hendrickson – Assistant Coach

Sigi Schmid added Ezra Hendrickson to the team’s technical staff as an assistant coach in January 2018. The former LA Galaxy defender and MLS stalwart returns to Los Angeles after nine seasons with Seattle Sounders FC, where he served as an assistant to Schmid since 2009 before being named Seattle Sounders FC 2’s first-ever Head Coach in November 2014.

While serving as an assistant under Schmid in Seattle, Hendrickson helped the club to four U.S. Open Cups (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014) and one Supporters’ Shield (2014). Seattle qualified for MLS Cup Playoffs in each season he served as an assistant.

Prior to his coaching career, Hendrickson completed a 14-year professional soccer career, half of which he spent with the LA Galaxy. A member of the Galaxy’s first MLS Cup team in 2002, Hendrickson made 139 appearances for LA all-time and was named the team’s MVP in 2001. During his career as a player, he was a member of three MLS Cup championship teams, winning two under Schmid. Together, they won the 2002 MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy and the 2008 MLS Cup in Columbus. Hendrickson was also with the D.C. United championship team in 2004.

Hendrickson, a native of the St. Vincent island in the Caribbean, served 12 years as captain of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines national team.

He currently holds his U.S. Soccer “A” Coaching License, which he earned in December of 2008.

Oka Nikolov – Assistant Coach

Sigi Schmid named Oka Nikolov assistant coach on Nov. 8. Nikolov joins the Galaxy from Philadelphia Union, where he was appointed to the Philadelphia Union technical staff in 2015 to oversee the goalkeeping position.

Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake, under the tutelage of Nikolov, developed into one of the best goalkeepers in Major League Soccer, earning honors as the 2016 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and again being nominated for the same award this season. As a player, Nikolov spent 22 years at Eintracht Frankfurt, including 19 seasons with the senior team where he appeared in more 370 Bundesliga games. Nikolov joined the Philadelphia Union in July 2013 before finishing his club career with Fort Lauderdale Strikers, of the North American Soccer League, in 2014. Internationally, Nikolov appeared in five games for Macedonia.

After retiring from play in 2014, Nikolov joined the Eintracht Frankfurt Talent Academy as a coach and also served as the assistant coach for the Macedonian National Team. Before that, Nikolov worked as a goalkeeping coach for the German Under-19 National Team.

Junior Gonzalez – Assistant Coach

Gonzalez joined the Galaxy on Nov. 8, 2017 after serving as the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros Head Coach since the start of the 2017 USL season. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach of Seattle Sounders FC S2 under Ezra Hendrickson and was previously an assistant coach and served as the director of scouting at Chivas USA from 2013-2014. Gonzalez has also served as the U.S. Boys’ U-15 National Team assistant coach, as well as the head scout for the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile. The California native also served as the Sounders’ head academy scout and U-14 head coach.

Gonzalez’ coaching career began in 2001 as an assistant coach for the University of California, Riverside men’s program. Three years later he became the head coach, and under his tenure 30 players were named All-Big West Conference – including two Big West Conference Players of the Year – and six players went on to MLS and USL careers. In 2011, Gonzalez was named the Big West Coach of the Year.

As a player, Gonzalez won the 1997 NCAA National Championship with UCLA. His collegiate career included four trips to the NCAA tournament and three Mountain Pacific Conference Championships. Gonzalez continued his playing career with the USL’s San Diego Flash, and his career continued throughout California before his final stop with the Utah Blitz.

Mike Muñoz - LA Galaxy II Head Coach

Muñoz was named the second LA Galaxy II coach in history after former manager Curt Onalfo was named LA Galaxy Head Coach. Muñoz takes over after spending time as a coach and the Director of the LA Galaxy Academy, which he helped develop into one of the most successful in Major League Soccer, with 14 Academy products signed across LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II before he was named head coach.

The former LA Galaxy midfielder had previously been a part of the LA Galaxy Academy coaching staff since 2013, coaching both the LA Galaxy U-14’s and U-16’s during that time while later taking over as the club’s Academy Director. Muñoz had also spent time as coach for the Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-16’s, Chivas USA Academy U-16’s and on the U.S. U-14 and U-15 National Team staff since retiring from his playing career in 2009. For the 2010-11 season, he was named the U.S. Development Academy U-16 Coach of the Year.

Prior to his coaching career, Muñoz played professionally in Major League Soccer. Muñoz was selected by Chivas USA in the third round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft and played two seasons for the club, 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 when he signed with the Galaxy on Aug. 1, 2008. 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.

A native of Bellflower, Calif., Muñoz graduated from Los Alamitos High School before earning a scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned All-Pac-10 Second Team honors as a freshman and All-Pac-10 First Team honors during both his sophomore and junior season.

Since his time on staff with the LA Galaxy Academy, Muñoz has assisted in the development of various LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II Homegrown Players, including Bradford Jamieson IV, Raul Mendiola, Jaime Villarreal, Eric Lopez, Hugo Arellano, Nathan Smith, Adrian Vera, Ethan Zubak and Adonis Amaya.

Laurent Courtois - LA Galaxy II Assistant Coach

Courtois joins LA Galaxy II as an Assistant Coach after featuring for Los Dos as a player/coach in the team’s inaugural 2014 season. He spent 2011-2013 with Chivas USA before signing on with Galaxy in July 2013. From Lyon, France, Courtois has a playing career that stretches back to 1998. The midfielder spent time in his native France playing for AC Ajaccio, Toulouse, Istres and Grenoble after beginning his career with his hometown club, Lyon. He also spent time in England with West Ham United and in Spain with Levante.

Claine Plummer - LA Galaxy II Goalkeeper Coach

Plummer joins LA Galaxy II to add to a career of coaching stints Chivas USA, Cal State LA, UCLA, Jamaican National Team and Real Salt Lake Academy. Plummer helped lead Jamaica to its CONCACAF Gold Cup Final appearance in 2015. As a player, Plummer was a member of A.D. Limonese in the Costa Rican First Division after four years as a starting goalkeeper for Cal State LA. As a youth player, he featured for Costa Rica at the U-19 and U-23 levels.


Ivan Pierra - Director of Sports Science

After working with the Galaxy for over 10 years from 1996-2008, Pierra, the first trainer in Galaxy history, returned to the club as the Sports Science Department Director in September of 2014 after working for U.S. Soccer Federation. The veteran sports science professional is one of only two athletic trainers in Galaxy history, replacing Armando Rivas who accepted a position with the Chicago Bulls of the NBA.

In the Galaxy’s inaugural season in 1996, Pierra began his initial stint with the Galaxy, where he worked as the athletic trainer for over 10 years before accepting a full-time position as Head Athletic Trainer for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2008. Prior to then, he had freelanced on the U.S. Soccer Federation staff, including time working with then head coach Bruce Arena. In all, Pierra has worked in four FIFA World Cup tournaments (1994, 1998, 2010, 2014) with the U.S. Soccer Federation, serving as the Head Athletic Trainer in 2010 and 2014 under head coaches Bob Bradley and Jurgen Klinsmann.

Pierra began his professional career in in 1993 after he started working as an athletic trainer for the soccer team Los Angeles Salsa in the American Professional Soccer League. He attended Cal State-Fullerton University from 1990-1993, where he earned a degree in physical education before receiving his Masters of Science in kinesiology in 1999.

Using sports science and medicine programs, Pierra is responsible for monitoring all aspects of player health and fitness for the LA Galaxy, LA Galaxy II and LA Galaxy Academy.

Pierre Barrieu - Director of Sports Performance

Barrieu, from Thionville, France, is the former Strength & Conditioning Coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team, serving stints under Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley from 2002-06 and 2008-11. He spent the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup with Arena, while serving in the 2010 FIFA World Cup under Bradley. In 2012, Barrieu was named United Arab Emirates National Team Assistant Coach and United Arab Emirates Football Association Head Fitness Coach.

At the club level, Barrieu spent the 2007 season under Bruce Arena with New York Red Bulls, 2014-15 with Sheffield Wednesday F.C. (England), 2015-16 with Le Havre AC (France) and 2016-17 with Swansea City A.F.C. (England)

Barrieu was named to the official FIFA instructor’s list in 2014. He holds a UEFA “A” Coaching License, a U.S. Soccer Federation Pro “A” Coaching License and a French Football Federation Federal Coaching Diploma.

Adam Waterson - Head Strength & Conditioning Coach

Waterson joined the club’s performance team as Head of Strength and Conditioning in January 2018.

Waterson has extensive experience in working with various professional soccer teams throughout Australia and Asia in the National Soccer League, A-League and K-League. These teams include Parramatta Power, 2004 Australian Olympic Soccer Team, Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets, Western Sydney Wanderers and FC Seoul.

Waterson graduated from Catholic University in Exercise and Sports Science. Adam is a Level 2 Strength & Conditioning Coach with the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association (ASCA). He also holds an Elite Coach qualification through the ASCA. Adam is currently obtaining his FFA C-Coaching license. 

His main roles are to assist the Director of Sports Performance on the field, assist the training staff with end-stage rehab and lead the LA Galaxy strength program. Adam was born in Baulkham Hills, Sydney, Australia.

William Sparkes - Sports Scientist

Sparkes joins the Galaxy for the 2018 season from the English Premier League, where he worked as a sports scientist for Swansea City AFC for the previous five years. Born and raised in the United Kingdom, he graduated from Swansea University with a degree in sports science in 2013 and has worked in soccer since. 

Sparkes has published a series of research studies monitoring the fatigue and recovery profiles following soccer matches and has a master’s degree in applied physiology. Alongside his work as a practitioner, Sparkes continues his studies for a PhD in the area of training periodization; more specifically by researching the physiological responses to concurrent training methods in soccer players. 

Sparkes’ primary role with the Galaxy is to monitor the physical performance of players during training and matches, with the aim of maximizing performance whilst minimizing injury risk. He also assists the Director of Sports Performance and the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach in the design and delivery of fitness programs.

Brooke Ellison - Sports Performance Dietitian

2018 marked Ellison’s first season with the Galaxy as the head Sports Performance Dietitian. She previously acted as the sports nutrition intern for the club for two seasons and became the interim sports performance dietitian in August 2017. Her role is to oversee the nutrition of all players with an individualized approach to meet positional demands, enhance athletic performance, promote more effective recovery, and assist in illness and injury prevention.

Ellison’s interest in nutrition began as a competitive youth athlete and became a passion during her time as an undergraduate at the University of New Mexico where she was an All-American member of the Division 1 women’s soccer team. Nutrition was extremely impactful for her own performance, recovery and injury prevention, and this experience created a desire to pursue a career helping elite athletes maximize their own performance with nutrition.

Ellison is Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist credentialed and also holds a Master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from California State University, Long Beach.

Nicolette Leffler - Sports Performance Dietitian & Education Coordinator

Leffler joined the Galaxy Sports Science Department staff in January 2018 as the Sports Performance Dietitian and Education Coordinator. Prior to this, she worked with NCAA Division 1 collegiate athletes in sports nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

In her role as sports performance dietitian, Leffler focuses on the athletes’ specific nutrition and hydration needs to help them achieve peak performance, recover efficiently from training sessions and matches, and exhibit resilience to illness and injury. As the education coordinator, she implements and manages nutrition education programs and coordinates the educational course logistics for high-level youth athletes in the Galaxy Academy.

Leffler attended UCLA, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in psychobiology before receiving her Master’s of Science in nutritional science. Leffler was a four-year member and captain of the UCLA Dance Team and later danced professionally for the Los Angeles Laker Girls dance team. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credentialed through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Cesar Roldan - Assistant Athletic Trainer

Roldan, a native of Los Angeles, CA and joins the LA Galaxy after serving as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Colorado Rapids. He has previous experience working as the Head Athletic Trainer for Orange County Blues Soccer Club and previous internships with Chivas USA, Seattle Sounders, and Los Angeles Galaxy. He received his undergraduate Kinesiology Degree from California State University, Long Beach and Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Science from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

Roldan’s primary role with the organization is to assist the Head Athletic Trainer in day-to-day preventative and rehabilitative medicine while working in conjunction with the Performance and Nutrition department to ensure the highest quality of care available to athletes.

Shunta Shimizu - Chiropractor and Scar Tissue Specialist

Shunta Shimizu enters his ninth season with the Galaxy as the club’s Chiropractor and Scar Tissue Specialist. He was invited to be an intern with the Galaxy in the beginning of 2005 season after treating Cobi Jones and Peter Vagenas.

Shimizu specializes with the active release technique, which breaks down scar tissue build up as a result of wear and tear of the body, injury, and post-surgery. His role in Galaxy is to keep athletes on the field and speed up the recovery process after an injury.

A former college soccer player, Shimizu graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2001 where he majored in Psychology. He then graduated from Southern California University of Health Sciences in 2004 and became a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic in 2005. That same year he went on to become fully certified in Active Release Technique.

Raul Vargas - Equipment Manager

A member of the Galaxy staff since the team’s inaugural season in 1996, Raul Vargas enters his 20th season as the club’s equipment manager. One of the longest tenured employees with the Galaxy and in all of MLS, Vargas was honored in 2008 as the MLS Equipment Manager of the Year. His numerous responsibilities include the ordering and maintaining of game uniforms, practice gear and equipment, making certain these items are ready to go when the players are, wherever in the world the team may be playing.

A native of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Vargas is the only member of the team staff to have been a part of all five of the club’s MLS Cup titles, as well as the 2001 and 2005 U.S. Open Cup titles and the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup.

In addition to his work with the Galaxy, Vargas has long been involved in the sport of soccer in Southern California. A former goalkeeper, he spent several years playing in various local leagues in Los Angeles County as well as playing for five-time Lincoln League champion Deportivo Obrera and for Cobras of the Olympic Soccer League.

Santa Monica Orthopaedic Group

The Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group provides the official club doctors for the LA Galaxy, with the team of Dr. Bert Mandelbaum and Dr. Byron Patterson leading the group’s efforts with the club. SMOG has grown to be the premier orthopaedic practice in Western Los Angeles, and now consists of 12 physicians all of whom meet the highest standards of education, training and experience. In addition to their physicians, the group has assembled many of the top nurses, technicians and therapists ready to assist patients in any way possible, and their integrated practice includes the following services for better patient care and convenience:

  • Digital X-Ray
  • Extremity MRI
  • Physical Therapy
  • Outpatient Surgery Center
  • Affiliated with St. John’s Hospital

In addition to providing these services for their patients, SMOG physicians are constantly involved in the development of new techniques and treatments to remain on the cutting edge of orthopaedic medicine. This includes work with the National Institute of Health as well as some of the world’s leading medical technology companies. In addition, SMOG has developed a nationally recognized fellowship program that annually trains 2-3 orthopaedic surgeons from around the country in the most advanced techniques of patient care for all aspects of sports medicine.