The LA Galaxy announced that former captain Peter Vagenas has been named LA Galaxy General Manager. The two-time MLS Cup winning Greek-American midfielder will serve as the General Manager and Vice President of Soccer Operations. In his new role, Vagenas will oversee all soccer activities of the LA Galaxy, LA Galaxy II and Galaxy Academy, including player acquisition, scouting and management of the club’s coaching staffs.
“Peter has been an influential figure in the continued growth of the LA Galaxy both on and off the field for a long period of time,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein.
Vagenas previously played for the Galaxy during nine of his 13 years in Major League Soccer and was a part of the Galaxy’s 2002 and 2005 MLS Cup championships. He was named Vice President of Soccer Operations in January 2016 after serving as Director of the LA Galaxy Academy since 2013. During his time as LA Galaxy Academy Director, Vagenas helped establish the Galaxy’s Academy into one of the most successful in North America with 15 Academy Products currently signed to professional contracts across LA Galaxy and Galaxy II. In 2015, Vagenas oversaw the development of the LA Galaxy Academy Blended Learning Program, a first-of-its-kind program that provides a full high-school education at StubHub Center for student-athletes immersed in the same professional environment as LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II.
“Being from Los Angeles and having invested much of my career into the growth of the LA Galaxy, I am extremely proud to continue with this great club as General Manager and Vice President of Soccer Operations,” said Vagenas. “I feel that my experiences within this organization will allow me to succeed in this role as the LA Galaxy continue to grow as a premier soccer club in North America. I look forward to working with both our front office and coaching staff as we push to win championships while further aligning all of our operations within the LA Galaxy, LA Galaxy II and the LA Galaxy Academy.”
While Vagenas served as Vice President of Soccer Operations this year, the LA Galaxy launched LA Galaxy Girls’ U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 Academy teams that will compete in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy League, becoming the first and only Girls’ Academy program to be fully-funded by a Major League Soccer side, allowing talented local athletes to join free of charge.
Vagenas, a product of Pasadena, California, was originally selected by the Galaxy in the second round of 2000 MLS SuperDraft with the 23rd overall selection. The St. Francis High (La Cañada Flintridge, California) and UCLA product made his professional debut on May 24, 2000, against the New England Revolution, scoring on his debut in stoppage time of a 2-1 loss. He was named club captain ahead of the start of the 2005 season and led the Galaxy to MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup victories.
The former midfielder started in 164 of the 183 regular season games that he appeared for the Galaxy, scoring 14 goals and adding 25 assists during his career in LA. He also scored two goals and notched two assists in 19 postseason games, reaching the MLS Cup Playoffs eight times in his 13 years as a player, including in each of his first six seasons as a pro.
Throughout his 13-year career in Major League Soccer, Vagenas represented Seattle Sounders FC, Vancouver Whitecaps and Chivas USA in addition to the Galaxy. He appeared in more than 250 combined regular season and postseason games while winning two MLS Cup titles (2002, 2005), four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles (2001, 2005 with LA; 2009, 2010 with Seattle) in addition to the 2002 Supporters’ Shield and 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup with LA.
In addition to his club career, Vagenas, who holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “A” coaching license, represented the U.S. at the 1999 Pan American Games, the 2000 Sydney Olympics and also made two appearances with the U.S. National Team. At the Olympics, he finished with a team-high three goals as he helped lead the U.S. to a fourth place finish, the best finish by a U.S. team in Olympic history. Shortly after returning from the Olympics, he made his full international debut, coming on as a second half substitute in a 2-0 win over Mexico at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on October 25, 2000.