The Galaxy announced Friday that they have fired Mike Munoz, coach of the team’s USL affiliate Galaxy II, and replaced him on an interim basis with Junior Gonzalez, a former NCAA champion at UCLA and onetime assistant at Chivas USA.
Gonzalez, 41, is expected to be on the sidelines Saturday when the Galaxy II play Reno 1868.
Munoz, the Galaxy’s former academy director, replaced Curt Onalfo as Galaxy II coach in January 2017 after Onalfo was named manager of the MS club. His teams compiled a 23-42-20 record in 2 ½ seasons, including a 5-6-8 mark this season.
A former Galaxy midfielder, Munoz was part of the team’s player-development staff since 2013, making him one of the long-serving members of that staff. Also fired Friday were assistant coaches Laurent Courtois, Jamie Harvey and Andrew May. The dismissals were disclosed in the final sentence of a six-paragraph press release emailed Friday morning announcing the hiring of Juan Carlos Ortega as the team’s director of methodology and development, essentially making him the academy director.
Ortega, 52, was previously the technical-tactical coordinator for the Mexican soccer federation, where Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese worked until December.
“Juan Carlos is knowledgeable and experienced, which shows in the success he has brought to the Mexican Football Federation and the prestigious clubs he has previously worked with,” Te Kloese said in a statement. “Juan Carlos also brings many important connections that he has cultivated throughout our region that will greatly support his work with the Galaxy.”
Ortega worked for the Mexican federation since 2009 in two roles, most recently supervising the youth national teams, including a U-17 World Cup champion. Before that he was an assistant coach and later head coach at Chivas de Guadalajara of Mexico’s Liga MX.
A defender in his playing days, he was with Tigres de la UANL, Léon, Correcaminos de la UAT and Tapatio, retiring in 2003.