CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016) – The LA Galaxy announced today that former Galaxy captain Peter Vagenas has been named LA Galaxy Vice President of Soccer Operations. Vagenas, who was named the Director of the LA Galaxy Academy in 2013, will now work in an expanded role to oversee soccer operations of the LA Galaxy Academy, LA Galaxy II and LA Galaxy first team in conjunction with Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena. Vagenas previously played for LA during nine of his 13 years in Major League Soccer and was a part of the Galaxy’s 2002 and 2005 MLS Cup championships.
“Peter’s dedication has been an instrumental part of the development and success of our Academy,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein. “He is one of our club’s most storied and successful players and has been committed to the growth of the LA Galaxy on and off the field for over a decade. This move continues to align our soccer operations from Academy through our first team. We are thrilled to have Pete take an expanded role within our club.”
As LA Galaxy Academy Director, Vagenas was an integral part of establishing the LA Academy into one of the most successful in North America with 15 Academy products signed to professional contracts across LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II. In 2015, the former Galaxy midfielder oversaw the development of the LA Galaxy Academy Blended Learning Program, which provides a full high-school education at StubHub Center for student-athletes immersed in the same professional environment as LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II. Vagenas also oversaw all day-to-day operations of the Academy, including the implementing the coaching and training curriculums.
Vagenas oversaw the LA Galaxy Academy during a period that saw 11 Academy players sign professional contracts between LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II: Bradford Jamieson IV, Raul Mendiola, Jaime Villarreal, Eric Lopez, Elijah Martin, Adonis Amaya, Ryo Fujii, Joe Franco, Alejandro Covarrubias, Adrian Vera, and Bennett Sneddon.
Vagenas, a product of Pasadena, California, represented the Galaxy in nine of his 13 seasons in MLS. He was selected in the second round of 2000 MLS SuperDraft with the 23rd overall selection. The St. Francis High (La Cañada Flintridge, California) and UCLA product made his professional debut on May 24, 2000, against the New England Revolution, scoring on his debut in stoppage time of a 2-1 loss. He was named club captain ahead of the start of the 2005 season and led the Galaxy to MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup victories.
The former midfielder started in 164 of the 183 regular season games that he appeared for the Galaxy, scoring 14 goals and adding 25 assists during his career in LA. He also scored two goals and notched two assists in 19 postseason games, reaching the MLS Cup Playoffs eight times in his 13 years as a player, including in each of his first six seasons as a pro.
Throughout his 13-year career in Major League Soccer, Vagenas represented Seattle Sounders FC, Vancouver Whitecaps and Chivas USA in addition to the Galaxy. He appeared in more than 250 combined regular season and postseason games while winning two MLS Cup titles (2002, 2005), four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles (2001, 2005 with LA; 2009, 2010 with Seattle) in addition to the 2002 Supporters’ Shield and 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup with LA.
In addition to his club career, Vagenas, who holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “B” coaching license, represented the U.S. at the 1999 Pan American Games, the 2000 Sydney Olympics and also made two appearances with the U.S. National Team. At the Olympics, he finished with a team-high three goals as he helped lead the U.S. to a fourth place finish, the best finish by a U.S. team in Olympic history. Shortly after returning from the Olympics, he made his full international debut, coming on as a second half substitute in a 2-0 win over Mexico at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on October 25, 2000.
The Galaxy will kick off the 2016 MLS Regular Season at StubHub Center on Sunday, March 6, against D.C. United (7 p.m. PT, UniMás). LA Galaxy Season Ticket Memberships for the 2016 MLS season are available for purchase now. Season Ticket Members and Galaxy fans can go to www.lagalaxy.com/tickets/seasontickets or call 877-3GALAXY (342-5299) to secure their 2016 LA Galaxy Season Ticket package.
Becoming a 2016 LA Galaxy Season Ticket Member gives fans the opportunity to receive a number of benefits, including discounted pricing, TEAM LA discounts, access to the 2016 Season Ticket Member Event, full season tickets to LA Galaxy II, early stadium access and access to LA Galaxy Champions League matches, among other exclusive benefits. For more information, visit www.lagalaxy.com/seasontickets or call an LA Galaxy representative at 877-3GALAXY (342-5299).