The LA Galaxy announced today that Pat Noonan will retire from MLS after a ten year career, and that he will be joining the Galaxy coaching staff as an assistant coach, replacing Jovan Kirovski on the bench after Kirovski was promoted to Technical Director.
Noonan holds a USSF B coaching license, which is designed for coaching players age 16 up to college level. Since the license was brought up in the press release, it's a fair assumption that Noonan will be working with the Galaxy's youth in some capacity.
"I have the utmost respect for Bruce and all the coaches here with the Galaxy and could not think of a better club with which to begin my coaching career," Noonan said. "I am truly grateful for the all the things that I have been able to experience and all of the wonderful people that I was able to meet during my 10 years playing this game professionally. I look forward to continuing that journey as I begin the next chapter of my soccer career."
That's now three former players (the others being Chris Klein and Jovan Kirovski) who have some amount of responsibility in cultivating future generations of Galaxy players. With four homegrown signings in the last few years, it's clear that the Galaxy are starting to level out the dependence on the academy and the draft.
Not that either is more significant or important at this point. Tommy Meyer had a terribly large impact last year, but this year Gyasi Zardes is likely to make just as big of a splash. Using both systems effectively, the Galaxy can continue to exploit an acquisition system set up to cause turnover at the top of the table.