Coaching Staff

Dennis te Kloese – General Manager

Te Kloese joins after serving as the director of national teams for the Mexican Football Federation, and will oversee all aspects of LA Galaxy soccer operations, including first-team, LA Galaxy II and LA Galaxy Academy decisions. Te Kloese joined the club in December 2018. 

In his General Manager role, te Kloese will be responsible for any player acquisition and scouting, managing the coaching staff, technical staff and youth development programs in addition to operating the soccer operations budget and team salary cap. He will oversee Technical Director Jovan Kirovski.

Te Kloese, who is fluent in English, Spanish, German and Dutch, has worked for the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) since 2011, most recently as the director of national teams, where he oversaw men’s and women’s youth and senior-level programs. Prior to his time as director, Te Kloese served as the director of FMF youth national teams, where he was influential in helping lead the program to notable accomplishments during his time there, including capturing the 2012 Summer Olympics Gold Medal for the men’s soccer, defeating Brazil in the final.

Born in Netherlands, te Kloese originally began working in Mexico in 2003 as Chivas de Guadalajara’s scouting director. In 2005, he worked in Major League Soccer for Chivas USA, which marked a period that saw the club make four-straight postseason appearances, the only playoff berths in their history. During his time in MLS, te Kloese was responsible for acquiring future U.S. Men’s National Team players Brad Guzan, Sacha Kljestan, and Jorge Villafaña.

In 2008, the Dutchman returned to Mexico as the Academy Director of Tigres in Liga MX. He joined FMF in 2011 to oversee the national team’s youth teams, including when the men’s team won the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal behind a squad that featured Jesús Corona, Carlos Salcido, Héctor Herrera, Marco Fabián, Oribe Peralta, Javier Aquino, Raúl Jimenez, Diego Reyes, and Giovani dos Santos.

After spending another year with Chivas de Guadalajara in 2013, he returned to FMF in 2014 as the Director of Youth National Teams and later the Director of the Men’s and Women’s National Teams.

Te Kloese played as a defender in the Netherlands for various clubs during his time as a professional, including Ajax in Amsterdam. He attended the University of Amsterdam, where he studied law, before his time working in front office and technical staff positions.

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, was named the first Technical Director in the club’s history in January 2013.

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.

Greg Vanney – Head Coach

The LA Galaxy announced today that the club has named Greg Vanney Head Coach. Vanney, 46, began his professional career as a player with the  LA Galaxy and returns as Head Coach after a six-year stint as Toronto FC’s Manager in which he became the only coach to capture an MLS Treble by winning MLS Cup, the MLS Supporters’ Shield and the Canadian Championship during the 2017 season. 

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to coach the LA Galaxy,” said Vanney. “The LA Galaxy are an iconic club with a rich history in Los Angeles, MLS and North American soccer over the last 25 years. I want to thank Dennis te Kloese, Chris Klein, Dan Beckerman and Mr. Anschutz for the opportunity to coach this team and represent a club so close to my heart. I am committed to working tirelessly for this club, our fans and Los Angeles to win a championship. I look forward to this new challenge in my career and am eager to get started.”

 Vanney’s coaching staff at the LA Galaxy will be named at a later date.

Vanney stepped down as Toronto FC manager following the 2020 MLS Season as both the most successful and longest-tenured coach in Toronto FC’s history with every major club record, including total wins (112) and games coached (250). In all, Vanney recorded an 87-68-48 MLS Regular Season record and a 10-5-2 MLS postseason record while being named MLS Coach of the Year and Concacaf Coach of the Year in 2017. As Toronto FC’s coach, the former Galaxy defender helped lead his side to the MLS Cup Playoffs in five of the previous six seasons (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020), while making appearances in three MLS Cup Finals (2016, 2017, 2019) and the Concacaf Champions League Final (2018). He also helped his side capture three-straight Canadian Championships (2016, 2017, 2018).

“Greg is a part of the history of the LA Galaxy and we are confident that he is the right person to lead our team moving forward,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese. “He has deep knowledge of this club and Major League Soccer as a player and a coach and has proven to be a consistent winner with a championship pedigree. His accolades as Toronto FC’s manager are evidence of his ability to create and sustain success in our league. We look forward to working with Greg to continue to build a team that will compete for trophies.”

As a player, Vanney made 270 total MLS Regular Season appearances, including 193 as a member of the LA Galaxy, tied with Todd Dunivant for the seventh-most appearances of any player in LA Galaxy history and trailing only Cobi Jones (281), Landon Donovan (253), Kevin Hartman (243), Mauricio Cienfuegos (206) and A.J. DeLaGarza (204). With LA, Vanney helped lead the club to a Supporters’ Shield (1998), CONCACAF Champions’ Cup (2000) and U.S. Open Cup (2001) while being named to the MLS Best XI twice (2000, 2001) and earning honors as LA Galaxy Defender of the Year (2001). He also made an additional 32 MLS Cup Playoff appearances, including 26 postseason appearances with the Galaxy.

“We are thrilled that Greg is returning to the LA Galaxy as our Head Coach,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein. “Greg is focused on building a culture that will serve as the foundation of this club. He is detail-oriented, a fierce competitor and has a deep understanding of our league and what it takes to succeed on and off the field. He will be an outstanding ambassador for the LA Galaxy, our supporters and Los Angeles.” 

Vanney began his professional playing career after being drafted by the Galaxy from UCLA with the 17th overall selection in the 1996 MLS College Draft. During his time as a professional, Vanney represented the Galaxy, FC Dallas, Colorado Rapids and D.C. United in Major League Soccer while also playing a stint for Bastia in France. He also earned 11 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team, making his debut in 1996 before later featuring in the 2005 Concacaf Gold Cup Championship and 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Following his retirement after the 2008 MLS season, Vanney served as the Real Salt Lake Youth Academy Director from 2008-2011 before joining Chivas USA as an assistant coach from 2011-2012. Vanney originally joined Toronto FC as the club’s assistant general manager and academy director in 2013 before being named head coach and technical director on August 31, 2014.

Juan Carlos Ortega – Director of Methodology and Development

The club hired Juan Carlos Ortega as the LA Galaxy Director of Methodology and Development in July 2019. Ortega joins the LA Galaxy after serving as the technical-tactical coordinator for the Mexican Football Federation and will oversee all LA Galaxy Academy decisions.

Ortega has worked for the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) since 2009 in two roles, most recently serving as the tactical technical coordinator, where he oversaw the youth national teams. During his time with FMF, Ortega won a U-17 World Cup with Mexico and qualified for U-17 World Cups (2015, 2017) and U-20 World Cups (2015, 2017, 2019). Ortega also served as the head coach for the Mexican U-15 Youth National Team.

Prior to his time as the tactical technical coordinator for FMF, Ortega spent six years as an assistant coach at Chivas de Guadalajara from 2003 to 2009. He returned to Chivas in August 2013 as head coach before being appointed as the Director of Sporting Development for the club a few months later.

Born in Atotonilco el Alto, Mexico, Ortega played as a defender for various Mexican clubs during his time as a professional, including Tigres de la UANL, Club Léon, Correcaminos de la UAT and Club Deportivo Tapatio. He retired as a professional player in 2003 and began his work in front staff and technical staff positions soon after.

Junior Gonzalez - LA Galaxy II Head 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. He was named LA Galaxy II head coach on Jan. 8, 2020 after serving as interim head coach during the 2019 season and earning a 7-5-4 as head coach and qualifying for the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs.  

Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach of Seattle Sounders FC 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.

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. He joined the club in January 2017. 

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.

Phil Hayward - Director of Performance and Sport Science

Hayward joined the team as the Director of Performance and Sport Science in February 2020.

Hayward joined the Galaxy after spending over 10 years with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in England, where he most recently served as the head of their medical department since 2012.With the Galaxy, Hayward will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the club’s health, physical fitness and physical performance components of the first team.

While with Wolves, Hayward oversaw a department of 30 full-time medical and sports science professionals to provide player care to optimize health and physical conditions. As the head of the medical department, he implemented various sports science systems and processes club-wide to support physical development and care for the Premier League squad.

He first started with Wolves FC in 2008, where he served as the head of Academy Medical Services before moving into a role as the first-team physiotherapist in 2011. Prior to his time with Wolves, he was the head of the medical department for Oldham Rugby League Club and served as a Physiotherapist for NHS and Bolton Wanderers FC.

In 2018, his department were recognized as the Medical Team of the Year by the Football Medical Association in the English Championship. Additionally, he led his team to an all-time record for squad availability of 98.5% during the 2018-19 Premier League Season.

He joins the LA Galaxy with an MSc in Manual Therapy from Coventry University and a BSc in Physiotherapy from Manchester School of Physiotherapy.

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 in 2018 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 has served as the Galaxy's Chiropractor and Scar Tissue Specialist since the 2010 season. 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 is 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.