LOS ANGELES (Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2019) – LA Galaxy II announced today that Junior Gonzalez has been appointed the club’s permanent head coach after most recently served as the interim head coach since July.
His nearly 20-year coaching career includes stints as head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Toros FC and UC Riverside with additional experience on staff at LA Galaxy, as an assistant coach and Director of Scouting with Chivas USA in MLS as well as on staff with Seattle Sounders FC 2 and the U.S. Boys’ U-15 National Team, among others.
“We are very pleased to appoint Junior as our head coach of LA Galaxy II,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese. “He is a valuable member of our staff, possesses great experience in USL and is a leader in youth development. Junior will play an integral role as we continue to strengthen the connection between our Academy, LA Galaxy II and first team.”
On July 19, 2019, Gonzalez was named interim head coach of LA Galaxy II before earning a record of 7-5-4 as head coach and qualifying for the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs. He originally joined the club as an LA Galaxy assistant coach ahead of the 2018 MLS season.
“I am honored and proud to be named the permanent coach of LA Galaxy II,” said Gonzalez. “I am passionate about this club and look forward to continuing to develop first-class players and people who will represent the LA Galaxy. I am excited to begin working to prepare for the 2020 USL Championship season.”
Gonzalez was added to the Galaxy’s staff after serving as the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros Head Coach for the 2017 USL season. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach of Seattle Sounders FC S2 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’s 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.