CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, August 29, 2013) – LA Galaxy Academy Director Peter Vagenas announced today the complete coaching staff that will lead the Galaxy Academy, driven by Chevrolet, in the upcoming 2013-14 season. The Academy staff will feature seven former MLS players, including four former Galaxy players. This is the first time in the history of the Galaxy Academy that all of the program’s head coaches are former professional players. The 2013-14 season starts in September, when all seven teams begin their respective competitions— the Galaxy Under-14’s are the first team to kick off their season on Sept. 7, against the Central California Aztecs in Bakersfield at 3 p.m.
The 2013-14 coaching staff is highlighted by the appointment of former LA Galaxy forward Ante Razov as head coach of the Galaxy Under-18’s, former Galaxy midfielder Mike Muñoz as head coach of the Under-16’s and former Galaxy defender Greg Vanney as head coach of the Under-14’s. Razov and Vanney each played in the inaugural season of the Galaxy and MLS in 1996 while Muñoz played for the club in 2008 before moving into coaching. All three will be coaching their respective Galaxy Academy teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy this season.
“We believe that we have assembled the best Academy staff in this country and are excited to see the work that they will be able to do with our collection of talented young players,” said Vagenas, who was named LA Galaxy Academy Director in June. “Ante, Mike, and Greg have proven themselves as teachers of this game and their pedigree as players will only enhance the culture of our Academy. They will not only develop future professionals for LA Galaxy but teach our young players the responsibilities associated with being members of this club.”
Razov, one of the most prolific goal scorers in MLS history, is entering his second season as a head coach on the Galaxy Academy. A year after leading the Galaxy U-14’s to an unbeaten 8-0-1 record in the Southern California Developmental Soccer League, the former Galaxy, Chicago Fire, MetroStars and Racing Ferrol forward takes over the Galaxy U-18’s, who have won the Western Conference Southwest Division title in each of the last two seasons. A native of Whittier, Calif., Razov, 39, and played collegiately at UCLA before being selected by the Galaxy in the third round of the 1996 MLS College Draft. He scored 114 goals in his 13-year MLS career, leaving him in fourth place on the MLS all-time scoring list.
Muñoz, the 2010-11 U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-16 Coach of the Year, is entering his fourth season as a head coach of a U.S. Soccer Development Academy team and first as head coach with the Galaxy Academy. In three seasons as head coach in the Development Academy, Muñoz, 29, has compiled a 53-21-15 record and qualified for the playoffs each of those seasons. This is Muñoz second stint as a coach with the Galaxy Academy, previously serving as assistant coach for the Galaxy Academy U-16’s in 2009. Prior to joining the Galaxy this season, the Bellflower-native spent the last three seasons as head coach of the Academy U-16’s for Real Salt Lake-Arizona and Chivas USA.
Vanney, a member of the Galaxy’s 2000 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup winning team, is entering his second season as head coach of a U.S. Soccer Development Academy Team and first as head coach with the Galaxy Academy. The 39-year-old was previously the head coach of the Real Salt Lake-Arizona U-18’s during the 2010-11 season prior to being hired as an assistant coach with Chivas USA. He served as Robin Fraser’s assistant with the club during the 2011 and 2012 MLS season. A two-time MLS Best XI, and an MLS All-Star in 2001, Vanney played in LA from 1996-2001, helping the club reach MLS Cup three times in the first six seasons of MLS. Following the 2001 season, Vanney went to Europe, where he played for SC Bastia in the French Ligue 1 from 2002-2005. He returned to MLS in 2005, signing with FC Dallas. He also spent time with the Colorado Rapids and D.C. United before returning to the Galaxy in 2008. He retired after that season having played in more than 300 regular season and postseason games in his time in the league.
In addition to those three teams, the Galaxy Academy will also have four teams competing in the Southern California Development League. Andrew Boyens, who played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup with New Zealand and was a member of the Galaxy’s 2012 MLS Cup championship team, will serve as head coach of the U-16 (B) squad while Ted Eck, who played for the Dallas Burn from 1996-2001, will be the head coach of the U-14 (B) squad.
LA will have two U-12 teams playing in the Southern California Development League with Alexi Yi, who played in Belgium with Royal Antwerp before joining FC Dallas in 2005, serving as the head coach of the North U-12’s and Braeden Cloutier, who began his career in Germany before playing for the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls), San Jose and New England in MLS, is head coach of the South U-12’s. The North U-12’s will be based out of the South Bay while the South U-12’s will be based out of Orange County
All four of the Galaxy’s SCDL head coaches have previously coached in the Galaxy Academy prior to this season with Yi coaching the club’s U-18 side and Boyens serving as U-16 assistant coach while Eck and Cloutier where coach of the club’s U-13 and U-12 teams, respectively.
Rounding out the Galaxy Academy staff are former LA Galaxy midfielder Mauricio Cienfuegos, who is a technical coach with the Academy, Ruben Messina, who returns to coach the program’s goalkeepers, and Billy Bizzaro, who serves as the Academy Coordinator.
“The LA Galaxy Academy has grown to become one of the best academies in the country. We are constantly evaluating and improving our staff as well as the developmental progress of our players,” said LA Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski, who oversees the Academy as part of his role with the club. “The goal of our academy is to develop players for our first team and we have done an exceptional job of assembling a staff that we believe is the best in the country to achieve this goal.”
The complete Galaxy Academy staff can be found below…
LA Galaxy Academy U-18 Head Coach Ante Razov
LA Galaxy Academy U-16 Head Coach Mike Muñoz
LA Galaxy Academy U-16 (B) Head Coach Andrew Boyens
LA Galaxy Academy U-14 Head Coach Greg Vanney
LA Galaxy Academy U-14 (B) Head Coach Ted Eck
LA Galaxy Academy U-12 North Head Coach Alex Yi
LA Galaxy Academy U-12 South Head Coach Braeden Cloutier
LA Galaxy Academy Technical Coach Mauricio Cienfuegos
LA Galaxy Academy Goalkeeper Coach: Ruben Messina
LA Galaxy Academy Coordinator: Billy Bizzaro
LA Galaxy Academy Head Athletic Trainer: Pablo Chung
LA Galaxy Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jonathan Brooks