LA Galaxy hires Juan Carlos Ortega from Mexican federation to run academy

The LA Galaxy, which has been without an academy director since the beginning of 2017, went out and hired Juan Carlos Ortega from the Mexican federation, giving him the title of director of methodology and development in the latest move by Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese to reorganize the club, which failed to make the MLS playoffs in the last two seasons and lost two academy stars, Alex Mendez and Uly Llanez, to German clubs in the last year.

Ortega was youth technical director of one of the top national youth team programs in the world. During his time with FMF, Mexico won the 2015 U-17 World Cup and qualified for three  U-17 and U-20 World Cups (2015, 2017, 2019). He previously worked at Chivas in Guadalajara.

“We believe Juan Carlos will be a great addition to this club and the LA Galaxy Academy,” said te Kloese. “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. Juan Carlos also brings many important connections that he has cultivated throughout our region that will greatly support his work with the LA Galaxy.”

The Galaxy has not had an academy director since Mike Munoz was named the Galaxy II head coach. On Friday, the Galaxy fired Munoz, Laurent Courtois, Munoz's assistant, Jamie Harvey, the Galaxy's youth technical manager, and academy coach Andrew May. Earlier in the year, the Galaxy fired highly successful academy coach Brian Kleiban.

Junior Gonzalez was named to coach the Galaxy II in the USL.

Photo: Andy Mead/Icon Sportswire

6 comments about "LA Galaxy hires Juan Carlos Ortega from Mexican federation to run academy".
  1. Ric Fonseca, July 20, 2019 at 12:52 p.m.

    Why don't ther Carson Galaxy's personnel moves throughout the team surprise me?  Just by the looks of the direction the club is taking, vis-a-vis the number one GM te Kloese, who spend several years with the Mexican hierarchy and then with Chivas GDL/USA, the signing of the head coach, and now several Latinos, well, at first I'd say enbuenahora chicos,  but for some reason or other it looks as if the Carson Galaxy is trying to make better inroads in the Latino communities of Carson and the South Bay Region, a strategic move they should have implemented some ten ymears ago. But let's wait and see, said the payaso as he opened up his eyes and saw.... ya lo veremos, ya lo veremos!

  2. R2 Dad, July 20, 2019 at 3:07 p.m.

    Very curious how this will develop. Is Galaxy going down the same path as Chivas in LA?

    RE: Keliban, he will land on his feet somewhere, maybe even LAFC? Does not speak too highly of the MLS academy career path when your star academy players (Llanex, Mendez) would choose Bundesliga teams at lower wages than the MLS/USL training environment and path. Somehow this was made into an issue of coaches and agents, instead of player development.

  3. don Lamb replied, July 21, 2019 at 8:42 p.m.

    R2 - The way that Gary handles himself as an "agent" is shameful. There is no way you can defend that. And there is no way Brian is going to get another gig in MLS with the way this has gone down. But why would he even want to if he is so philosophically against MLS?

  4. R2 Dad replied, July 22, 2019 at 12:43 a.m.

    Bob, I don't know the details, and it doesn't sound like GK has covered himself in glory. But this sort of thing was bound to happen since USSF/MLS hasn't established lower league continuity for academies and a real path to first team play.

    “One of the things that stands out most is that young players see that there’s an actual opportunity and it’s not something that’s only discussed or that’s only put into like a promotional role, but there is actually an opportunity,” said te Kloese. Seems to me the players (and their families/representatives) have seen what is happening in MLS--not just what is promised/talked about--and decided there are some Bundesliga teams that do play their kids and there is real opportunity for growth & advancement there. 

    In this same article, te Kloese says, "We need to provide the best opportunities so that everybody would think twice on leaving here, and actually the players that would leave here are the players that wouldn’t have an opportunity." So clearly this is NOT happening now at LA Galaxy.

    Big picture, this is the kind of development that brought MLS to their senses:

    ...and will force further developmental changes in MLS as it grows and evolves.

  5. Richard Rodriguez, July 20, 2019 at 10:38 p.m.

    My fear is he is going to steer Mexican-Americans to play for Mexico instead of the U.S.

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, July 21, 2019 at 12:31 a.m.

    USSF doesn't need any help in that area. They are quite accomplished at chasing players away.

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