Sports Medicine & Science Department

Sports Science 2

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.

Cesar Roldan - Athletic Trainer, MS, ATC

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, Scar Tissue Specialist, and Active Release Specialist

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



Chief Medical Officer, Team Orthopedist — Bert Mandelbaum

Dr. Mandelbaum is a 1980 medical graduate of Washington University Medical School in St. Louis who completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and fellowship in Sports Medicine at UCLA. He served on the faculty at UCLA from 1986-89 and subsequently joined the Santa Monica Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group. He presently practices there, serving as the Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship Program and of the Research and Education Foundation and the Medical Director for the FIFA Medical Center of Excellence in Santa Monica. He is also the Director of Research for Major League Baseball (MLB). He serves on the USOC National Medical Network Advisory Group. He was also appointed as Chief Medical Officer for the World Special Olympic Games 2015 in LA. As a team physician, Dr. Mandelbaum has worked with UCLA Athletics (1985-1989) and Pepperdine University (1990-present), LA Galaxy, and Chivas USA MLS teams. He was the Chief Medical Officer for Women's World Cup Soccer in 1999 and 2003, US Soccer Men's National Teams Physician since 1991, and the assistant Medical Director for Major League Soccer since 1996. He also served as USA Team Physician for Soccer World Cups '94 in the USA, '98 in France, 2002 in Japan and Korea, Germany in 2006, and South Africa in 2010. He served as FIFA medical officer for Brazil World Cup 2014.

Primary Care Physician — Josh Scott, MD

Dr. Joshua Scott is a board-certified specialist in Sports Medicine with over a decade of experience treating athletes in southern California. He was a Division I track and field athlete at Clemson University and received his medical degree and residency in pediatrics from the Medical University of South Carolina. After residency, he completed a fellowship in primary care sports medicine at the University of South Carolina. He currently practices at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute as a primary care sports medicine physician and is volunteer faculty at the University of Southern California. Dr. Scott has worked with the U.S. Track and Field team at the Olympic Trials and U.S Championships in 2016. He has served as a medical consultant for the Los Angeles Dodgers and he currently serves as the lead primary care physician for the Galaxy.

Team Neuropsychologist — Dave Lechuga, PhD

Dr. Iman Abdeshahian, DMD - Team Dentist

Dr. Iman was born in Switzerland and raised in England, educated both in the UK and America before moving to Southern California. He lectures to both dentists and university students, and was previously a clinical evaluator with Glidewell Laboratories. He believes in giving his time and effort to helping those in the community who might not otherwise have access to adequate dental care, and every year his office provides a day of free dentistry to an underserved group in the community.

He has also been involved in dental mission trips abroad, helping bring much-needed medical care to Guatemala, Fiji, Tonga, and Mexico. Highly regarded for his cosmetic work, he is trusted by many celebrity patients to help maintain their oral health, and Dr. Iman’s work can be seen on the front covers of magazines and publications worldwide. His research has also helped support the development of laser-activated skin fillers, laser tattoo removal and clarification of the roles that microRNAs play in post transcription regulation of gene expression.

He currently maintains a private multi-specialty practice in Stanton, California.

Team Chiropractors

George Billauer, DC

Dr. George Billauer has been a member of the Galaxy medical staff since the team's inception in 1996. A 1977 graduate of the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, he has extensive experience in the sports medicine arena. His career has included providing services to organizations such as the LA Dodgers, the LA Kings, the US Olympic Team and UCLA Men's Basketball. His passion is soccer and he is proud to also have been the Team Chiropractor for the US Men's National Team since 1992. His experience with the USMNT spans over 300 matches and 5 World Cups.

Eric Pierra, DC

Dr. Pierra joined the LA Galaxy Medical Staff in 1997. Dr. Pierra is a spinal and extremity manipulation specialist who has worked regularly with the team throughout the years and has been on hand for all the Galaxy's Championship games. Dr. Pierra began his professional career in 1995 after graduating from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic and obtaining a license to practice in the state of California. Dr. Pierra has worked periodically with the Men's and Women's National Soccer Team as well. He currently practices in Irvine, CA.

Rion Zimmerman, DC

In 2013 Dr Zimmerman was asked to serve as one of the team chiropractors for the Galaxy and in 2014 the US women’s national soccer team. Dr. Zimmerman has obtained the postgraduate designation of Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician * (CCSP ® ) by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians™ (ACBSP™). The CCSP ® certification provides Dr. Zimmerman with knowledge specific to physical fitness and the evaluation and treatment of injuries encountered in sports including concussion protocols.This training aids the doctor in the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries by enhancing his diagnostic skills and patient care. He currently owns and operates two clinics in La Cañada Flintridge and Glendale, CA.

Team Ophthalmologist – Rom Kandavel, MD

Dr. Rom Kandavel performs cutting edge cataract and laser eye surgery at the Colvard-Kandavel Eye Center. He recognized as one of the leading eye specialists in Los Angeles and lectures internationally to advance the field of ophthalmic surgery. Dr. Kandavel grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He graduated from the renowned Harvard-Westlake high school. He then attended UCLA, where he received his degree in Biology and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. Dr. Kandavel received his medical degree from UC Davis Medical School where he graduated at the top of his class with AOA honors on a full academic scholarship. In 2013, Dr. Kandavel was chosen as the Team Ophthalmologist for the L.A. Galaxy soccer team, and he also provided eye care for the U.S. Men's National Team competing in the 2014 World Cup games in Brazil.

Team Podiatrist — Howard Liebeskind

Dr. Howard Liebeskind is a board certified podiatric sports medicine specialist, fellow of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and "MD Affiliate" of the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine. 

The international medical community recognizes him as his professions most experienced podiatric sports medicine specialist and the world's longest tenured "football podiatrist." 

He has been team podiatrist to the Los Angeles Galaxy since the team's inception in 1996 in addition to serving as team podiatrist to the US Men's and Women's National teams for the past 29 years. 

His list of high-caliber international team associations include service to Chelsea F.C., Internazionale Milano, Real Madrid F.C. and Manchester United F.C. during their respective pre-season North American tours from 2005 through 2018.

For more than three decades, Liebeskind has worked with intercollegiate and professional teams in various affiliations and positions that include the Los Angeles Kings, UCLA and Pepperdine University Athletic Departments. 

He is currently team podiatrist to the NBA World Champion Los Angeles Lakers. 

With a detailed understanding of the biodynamics of athletic footwear, orthotic fabrication and innovative usage of biometric data acquisition systems to enhance athletic performance, Dr. Liebeskind uses his expertise in this area to speak at national and international conferences on these topics, as well as to professional and industrial organizations. 

Dr. Liebeskind graduated from Syracuse University and the William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, where he received BA, BS and DPM degrees respectively. He completed a residency program in Podiatric Surgery at Van Nuys Community Hospital in Van Nuys, California.