Academy Staff Bios

US Soccer Development Academy Under 15/16 – First Team Staff Coach

Michael Muñoz

Michael Muñoz is a former professional soccer player from Major League Soccer and the USL-1 Division. Munoz is currently the Head Coach of Major League Soccer’s Chivas-USA U16 Development Academy team.

Muñoz brings a wealth of domestic and international playing and coaching experience and is dedicated to improving and impacting player development in the United States.

Michael Muñoz played college soccer at the University of California, Berkeley from 2001-2004. In his first three seasons he started 60 out of 63 matches. As a freshman, he garnered 2nd Team All-Pac 10 and 3rd Team All-West Region honors, and in his sophomore and junior year he notched First Team All-Pac 10 and 2nd Team All-West Region. He was also a two-year captain for the Golden Bears his junior and senior year. However, four games into his senior season he tore his right MCL and was out for the rest of the year. In 2002, Munoz was offered a two year contract deal in Norway from Fredrikstad FC, but chose not to sign.

During his college years he also played for Orange County Blue Star in the United Soccer League (USL) Premier Development League.

Muñoz was selected in the first round, 3rd overall, in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft by Chivas USA where he stayed and played under Thomas Rongen, Hans Westerhoff and former US Men’s National Team Coach Bob Bradley.

After leaving Chivas, Muñoz signed with California Victory of the USL First Division. He scored the first league goal in Victory history on April 28, 2007 against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC – a goal that was awarded Goal Of The Week, and saw him named part of the USL First Division Team Of The Week on April 30, 2007. Munoz left the Victory when the team folded at the end of the 2007 season.

After a short stint with Los Angeles-based amateur team Hollywood United, whom he helped qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the first time in 2008, and having played several games for Los Angeles Galaxy’s reserves, Muñoz was signed to a contract with Los Angeles Galaxy on August 1, 2008.

Muñoz retired from playing professional soccer in 2009.

In 2002, Muñoz represented his country as part of the US Under 20 Men’s National Team under Head Coach Thomas Rongen.

Muñoz has over 7 years of experience coaching and scouting at the youth soccer level. He holds a USSF “A” coaching license and has been actively scouting for the US Youth Men’s National Teams for the past year, specifically the U17 Men’s National Team.

In 2007, while he was playing professionally for the California Victory, Muñoz became one of the assistant coaches at the University of San Francisco. The following year he returned to his Alma Mater to become an assistant coach at UC Berkeley during their fall season of 2008.

In 2009 Muñoz joined his old club, the LA Galaxy as an assistant coach for the U16 LA Galaxy Academy.

Muñoz then went on to help start the Real Salt Lake residential academy program based out of Casa Grande, Arizona with current Chivas USA first assistant Greg Vanney. After Vanney left for Chivas, Munoz took over the program as the head coach of the U18s and U16s RSL-AZ Academy teams. Munoz helped lead both teams to the Development Academy playoffs in their first year as a program and eventually finishing third in the country with the U16 team. Muñoz was recognized by US Soccer as the Development Academy Coach of the Year for the U16 age group for the 2010-2011 season.


US Soccer Development Academy Under 17/18 Assistant Coach

Mario Ayala

Mario J. Ayala was born and grew up in San Salvador, El Salvador, where he attended Instituto Cervantes and studied business administration and accounting at National University of El Salvador. Soon after, he moved to Brazil to study physical education at Universidade Federal in Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte. While in Rio de Janeiro, he completed courses in professional soccer coaching.  He also worked as an intern with Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, Clube Atletico Mineiro, and Santa Teresa Esporte Clube. He then moved to the United States in 1980 to Los Angeles, California, where he currently resides and finished GED certification at LACC.

Played at the reserve level in first division in teams in San Salvador as well as in youth national level teams and at the college level in El Salvador, Brazil, and United States.

Ayala’s coaching education includes courses abroad in Brazil as well as some completed in the United States. Since the ‘80’s in Los Angeles, he was on the coaching staff at L.A. Aztecs (former NASL member) under former Brazil national head team coach Claudio Coutinho. He also was assistant and head coach at LACC, coached at Golden Valley Eagles (UISSL 2nd div.) as well as general coordinator of the California Soccer Coaches Association until 1996. He was part of the coaching instructors in the CSAS under the direction of Norman Jackson.

During the period revolving around World Cup ’94, Ayala worked with Mario “Lobo” Zagalo and Carlos Alberto Parreira (former Brazil national team head coaches) as a translator and moderator in press conferences, symposiums and releases.

As a youth soccer pioneer, he helped to create as well as founded programs of his own.  Some include: LACC SP, Horace Mann SS, North Hollywood Jets SC, Valley Eagles YS, CASSAL, and Valley Jets SP.

In more recent times, he has been dedicating his time to coaching in several LA area soccer clubs in the youth sector, which include SGV Flyers, LAFC (Chelsea & Cosmos), FC Manchester United, and Cosmos Academy West.

Ayala is also a member and international representative for Sindicato do Treinadores Profisionais do Estado de Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as well as an international recruiter and advisor for FESA – Fundacion Educando a un Salvadoreño. He also organizes and coordinates soccer camps and clinics in Central America during the summer months with former soccer program alias Jets.

Ayala lives in Pasadena, married to wife Teresa, with two kids, Miriam and Mario.


U15 Pre-Academy Coach

Juan Sanchez

For the past nine seasons, Juan Sanchez has been the one of the most dominant Men’s Soccer Coaches in the state, winning the South Coast Conference (SCC) Championship and the SCC Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year Award and amazing seven times! In the past three years (2009, 2010, 2011), Sanchez's teams have only lost 2 games and boast a record of 61 wins, 2 losses and 10 ties. His 2012 team will enter the season with a 38 game unbeaten streak.

Sanchez started his coaching career as an assistant coach at both Mt. SAC and Damien High from 1997-2000. He became the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Diamond Ranch High in 1999, Mt. SAC in 2001 and at Cerritos College in 2004 before returning to Mt. SAC as a full time professor and coach in 2005.

Prior to his short stint at Cerritos, Sanchez led Mt. SAC to consecutive SCC Championships (02, 03) and made a State Finals appearance in 2002. In the national polls, the Mounties finished 6th in 2002 and 9th in 2003. Sanchez’ 2003 team finished with a 14-0 undefeated conference record and he was named SCC Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year as well as the SCC All-Sports Coach of the Year.

Sanchez pulled double duty from 1999 to 2004 as a Mt. SAC Men’s Soccer Coach and the head soccer coach/Physical Education teacher at Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona. During his tenure at Diamond Ranch, he lead his teams to the Final (00-01) and Semi-Finals (03-04) of the CIF Soccer Championships as well as leading them to two undefeated league championships.

Sanchez played soccer at California State University at Los Angeles (Cal State LA), where he helped lead the Golden Eagles to the 1993 CCAA Conference Championship. At Cal State LA, Sanchez was a two time 1st Team All-CCAA selection and earned All-Far West Region 1st Team honors as a senior. He continued his playing career as a professional with the University of Mexico-Pumas (reserves 94), Anaheim Splash (94-95), Inter-Tijuana (95-2nd Division Mexico), Pittsburgh Stingers (95-96) and the Detroit Safari (97).

Sanchez earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from California State University at Los Angeles and his master’s degree in degree in Education/Special Emphasis (Physical Education) from the University of La Verne.

Sanchez has also been part of the USSDA with LAFC in 2009-10 as an assistant coach and 2011-12 as head coach of the U-18 Arsenal FC Academy.

Sanchez and his wife, Gabriella reside in Corona with their four children- Alex, Maya, Samantha and Gabriel.


Under 14 Youth Academy Coach

Hugo Perez Jr.

Hugo Perez Jr. a Northern CA native attended the University of San Francisco and graduated in 2005, where he majored in Business Administration. Before starting his professional career Hugo spent many years in a few professional clubs such as: The CSAN State Team, from 1999 to 2001 and then also joined Farolito FC San Francisco a semi-professional men’s league from 2000 to 2004. Upon leaving Farolito in 2004 Hugo then went on to play for the Sonoma County Sol PDL League for two years where he contributed as a starting forward.

Hugo’s professional background and strong passion for soccer has allowed many opportunities not only in his playing career but also in his background as a coach. Hugo in 2005 contributed as a lead trainer in the Chivas Academy for Northern California. He then also took a position as the head coach of the U-12 Novato boys soccer club from 2007 to 2010. In his spare time Hugo also served as the assistant coach to the U-12 North Bay Elite FC Soccer Academy.

Hugo holds his NSCAA National License.


U8-U10 Youth Academy Coach

Marc Gomez

Marc Gomez grew up in Southern California where he attended Arlington High School in Riverside. He then moved to San Diego and joined the United States Navy where he served his country for six years.  While in the Navy, Gomez served or six months in the Middle East during Desert Storm/Desert Shield. Upon returning from the Middle East he played for the Navy's soccer team in San Diego. In the last 4 years of his enlistment in the Navy, Gomez played in the San Diego Premier League for T.D. Athletic Club out of Point Loma, CA.

In 1996, after his service in the Navy, Gomez moved to Washington State where he attended Highline College and played for the Thunderbirds Men's Soccer team under coach Jason Prenavost. In 1999, Gomez coached his oldest son Sean at Norpoint Soccer Club in Tacoma, WA and then relocated back to Southern California.

Upon returning to Southern California, Gomez began his coaching career at his alma mater Arlington High School. During his nine years of coaching at Arlington, Gomez served as the Head Varsity Coach of both the Boys and Girls Soccer programs. As the girls coach he won two league titles and was named Coach of the Year by the Press Enterprise and was also named the Sam Pecchia Sportsmanship Award winner by the Referees Association. As the boys soccer coach he won a league title and was named Coach of the Year by the Inland Empire Referees Association.

During his time as a high school coach, Gomez coached club soccer for Riverside United Soccer Club, Matrix Soccer Club and Arsenal FC. While coaching at Matrix Soccer Club, he led his U16 girls team to the State Cup Finals. During his time at Arsenal FC, Gomez coached the GU17 ECNL team in its inaugural season with US Club Soccer. In March 2011 he joined the New York Cosmos Academy West Coaching Staff.

Marc Gomez currently resides in Riverside with his wife and their four children and works at Arlington High School in the Special Education program.