With support from Herbalife Nutrition, the LA Galaxy made key additions to the club’s Sports Science and Performance Department. Led by Pierre Barrieu, Director of Sports Performance, and Ivan Pierra, Director of Sports Science, the department will maximize performance, minimize injury risk, optimize fitness and nutrition levels and execute comprehensive training regiments for Major League Soccer’s premier club.
“This is a part of our technical staff that we were very focused on improving ahead of the 2018 season,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein. “As we strive to be the best in MLS, we have partnered with Herbalife Nutrition to invest in our Sports Science and Performance Department with the intention of putting our players in the best position possible to succeed.”
"Professional endurance athletes, like soccer players, have specific nutrition and hydration needs that enable them to perform at the highest level of their sport on an ongoing basis," said Dr. John Agwunobi, MD, MPH, MBA, Chief Health and Nutrition Officer at Herbalife Nutrition. "Our Sports Performance experts know that LA Galaxy players endure rigorous travel schedules and long practice sessions, so they work closely with the team to design a targeted sports nutrition and hydration program that helps them achieve peak performance on game day."
Barrieu, signed in August 2017, is the former Strength & Conditioning Coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team, serving time under Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley from 2002-06 and 2008-11 including three World Cup campaigns. In 2012, Barrieu was named United Arab Emirates National Team Assistant Coach and United Arab Emirates Football Association Head Fitness Coach.
At the club level, Barrieu spent the 2007 season under Bruce Arena with New York Red Bulls, 2014-15 with Sheffield Wednesday F.C. (England), 2015-16 with Le Havre AC (France) and 2016-17 with Swansea City A.F.C. (England).
Pierra, ready to being his 18th season with LA Galaxy, welcomes two additions to the Sports Science Department. They are Sports Performance Dietitian Brooke Ellison and Sports Performance Dietitian & Education Coordinator Nicolette Leffler, who were hired by both Herbalife Nutrition and LA Galaxy to enhance athlete performance, promote recovery and develop nutritional literacy of all players in the LA Galaxy organization as part of the Herbalife Sport Performance Program.
The five members added to the Sports Science and Performance Department are:
- Adam Waterson BExSc – Head Strength & Conditioning Coach
- William Sparkes BSc, Mres – Sports Scientist
- Brooke Ellison, M.S., RDN – Sports Performance Dietitian
- Nicolette Leffler, M.S., RDN – Sports Performance Dietitian & Education Coordinator
- Cesar Roldan, M.S., RDN – Assistant Athletic Trainer
Adam Waterson – Head Strength & Conditioning Coach
Waterson, from Baulkham Hills, Sydney, Australia, holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Australian Catholic University and is a registered Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) Elite Coach. Waterson has extensive experience 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.
In his role, Waterson will lead LA Galaxy’s strength program, while assisting Barrieu and the training staff with end-stage rehab.
William Sparkes – Sports Scientist
Sparkes joins the Galaxy 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 Bachelor’s of Science in Sports Science in 2013. Sparkes has published a series of research studies monitoring the fatigue and recovery profiles following soccer matches and holds a Master’s of Research degree in Applied Physiology. In addition to his work as a practitioner, Sparkes continues his studies for a doctoral degree 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. He also assists Barrieu and the Waterson in the design and delivery of fitness programs.
Brooke Ellison – Sports Performance Dietitian
Ellison, a former NCAA Women’s Soccer All-American with the University of New Mexico, is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and holds a Master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from California State University, Long Beach. Hired jointly by Herbalife Nutrition and LA Galaxy, she will 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.
Nicolette Leffler – Sports Performance Dietitian & Education Coordinator
Leffler, formerly a member of the sports nutrition staff at UCLA, holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology in addition to a Master’s of Science in Nutritional Science. Hired by both Herbalife Nutrition and LA Galaxy, Leffler will focus 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.
Cesar Roldan – Assistant Athletic Trainer
Roldan, a native of Los Angeles, joins the Galaxy from Colorado Rapids, where he served as Head Athletic Trainer. Roldan received his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach and acquired a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals. Roldan’s primary role with the organization is to assist Waterson in day-to-day preventative and rehabilitative medicine while helping the Sports Science department to ensure the highest quality of care available to athletes.