The LA Galaxy says it has added Vincentian Ezra Hendrickson to the team’s technical staff as an assistant coach.
The club said on Jan. 20 that the former LA Galaxy defender and MLS [Major League Soccer] stalwart returns to Los Angeles after nine seasons with Seattle Sounders FC, where he served as an assistant to Sigi Schmid since 2009 before being named Seattle Sounders FC 2’s first-ever Head Coach in November 2014.
“I am very excited to work with Ezra again and bring him to Los Angeles,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “He has a broad range of experiences as a player and a coach that will be very valuable to our club. We have had a lot of success working together over the years, and we look forward to that continuing here at the Galaxy.”
While serving as an assistant under Schmid in Seattle, LA Galaxy said Hendrickson helped the club to four US Open Cups (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014) and one Supporters’ Shield (2014). Seattle qualified for MLS Cup Playoffs in each season he served as an assistant, LA Galaxy said.
Prior to his coaching career, Hendrickson completed a 14-year professional soccer career, half of which he spent with the LA Galaxy.
A member of the Galaxy’s first MLS Cup team in 2002, Hendrickson made 139 appearances for LA all-time and was named the team’s MVP in 2001, LA Galaxy said.
During his career as a player, it said Hendrickson he was a member of three MLS Cup championship teams, winning two under Schmid.
Together, they won the 2002 MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy and the 2008 MLS Cup in Columbus, Ohio, LA Galaxy said. Hendrickson was also with the D.C. United championship team in 2004.
Hendrickson served 12 years as captain of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines national team. He currently holds his US Soccer “A” Coaching License, which he earned in December of 2008, LA Galaxy said.
LA Galaxy will open the 2018 MLS Season on Sunday, March 4 at StubHub Center against Portland Timbers.
One of the most talented defenders in club history, LA Galaxy said Hendrickson spent seven seasons with Los Angeles from 1997 to 2003, making 191 appearances across all competitions.
Hendrickson’s time with the club was one of the most successful periods in the Galaxy’s history as he helped the team win two Supporters’ Shields, a US Open Cup title, the MLS Cup, and the CONCACAF Champions Cup, LA Galaxy said.
“It’s a homecoming. I played 12 seasons in the league, and seven of them were with the Galaxy. I’m happy to be back,” the 2001 LA Galaxy Most Valuable Player told LA Galaxy Insider. “I’m working with Sigi again. I’ve known him for 20 years now; he’s a very good coach. I hope to continue to learn from him, and I’m here to help the team in any way I can.”
As overjoyed Hendrickson is to work with his old boss once again, Schmid said the feeling is mutual.
“I like Ezra as a coach because he can see things from a different perspective, and I like to have assistant coaches who are going to bring different opinions because that makes you stronger as a staff,” Schmid said. “He’s excellent working with the defenders and great at getting outside backs to improve going forward.
“He loves the game,” Schmid added. “He was a guy that could get players to perform; and some of the teams that I coached, I had him mentor some of the younger games. I could see in that mentoring process that he could relate and bring guys along as a coach.”
With an eye to the future, Hendrickson believes that priority number one for him and the rest of Schmid’s staff is to help return the Galaxy to their winning ways, according the LA Galaxy.
“I hope that, as part of the coaching staff, that I can help the team get back to the kind of success that they’re used to,” Hendrickson said. “I’m very confident that we can. Sigi and the front office have done a great job with the roster this offseason, and we could be very successful in this league.
“I’m just happy to be a part of it, and I just want to do whatever I can as an assistant to make sure that we bring success back to the organization,” he added.