Club Press Release

LAFC Name Othoniel Gonzalez Junior as Head Coach  of MLS NEXT Pro Team, LAFC2 

LAFC Coach

LAFC announced today that Othoniel Gonzalez Junior has been named head coach of LAFC2, the club’s MLS NEXT Pro Team. 

“Junior brings considerable experience to LAFC 2, and we are excited to welcome Junior back home to LA as the new Head Coach of LAFC 2. ”LAFC Co-President and General Manager John Thorrington said, “Junior has extensive knowledge of both the youth landscape and the professional game, and we are confident he will provide great leadership to our young players."

Junior, 46, joins LAFC with more than two decades of coaching and scouting experience, which includes experience in Major League Soccer serving as an Assistant Coach and Director of Scouting (2013 & 2014) at Chivas USA, Assistant Coach at the LA Galaxy (2018), and two years as Assistant Coach at the Chicago Fire (2022 & 2023). Gonzalez also brings over six years combined in the USL as a Head Coach leading the LA Galaxy II to two USL post-seasons from 2019-2021, in 2017 with Houston Dynamo’s USL affiliate the RGV Toros, and served as the Assistant Coach for the Seattle Sounders FC II in the USL Pro league in 2016 and also served as the Head Coach and Head Academy Scout in the Sounders Development Academy from 2015-2016. 

Gonzalez’s experience is complemented with the U.S. Soccer Federation Pro Coaching License, Welsh FA License, and is currently in the process of earning his UEFA A and UEFA A Youth Elite Licenses.  

At the National Team level, Gonzalez has served as an Assistant Coach for El Salvador’s 2023 Training Camp and as an Assistant Coach for the US Youth National from 2015- 2019 for team U-15 and U-17 squads including the 2015 U-17 FIFA World Cup in Chile and as a guest Head Coach for the U-17 squad during Nike International Friendlies. 

Gonzalez began his coaching career serving as the Assistant Coach for the men’s soccer team in Division I for UC Riverside from 2001-2003. Soon after Junior became the Head Coach, establishing a nearly 10-year career from 2004-2013 at the helm of UC Riverside, where he was honored as the Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 2011.  He is credited with scouting and developing almost a dozen collegiate players who went onto pro soccer careers including LAFC and USMNT defender, Aaron Long.  

Junior also brings over 10 years of experience as a player playing for LA Salsa U-19 in the APSL from 1991-1994. Gonzalez then Joined UCLA Men’s Soccer, becoming a three-time Mountain Pacific Conference Champion, a four-time Div. I NCAA Tournament Participant between 1995 – 1998 and a NCAA Division I National Champion, and a.  Following a successful Collegiate career, Junior joined the San Diego Flash of the USL-A League in 1998. Internationally, Gonzalez represented the U.S. Youth National Team at the U-18 level. 

LAFC2 will return to action for its second season in MLS NEXT Pro, playing the majority of its home games at Titan Stadium on the campus of California State University, Fullerton. Fans will be able to stream LAFC2 matches through MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.