The LA Galaxy announced yesterday that club President Chris Klein has been named to Sportsbusiness Journal's 40 Under 40, a list which identifies and honors the most promising executives in sports business under the age of 40. Klein was one of the forty names chosen for this award, which was first initiated in 1999, from hundreds of possible candidate nominations voted upon by a committee of Sportsbusiness editors.
After graduating from Indiana University, Klein originally came to MLS as a player in 1998 after being drafted fourth overall by the Kansas City Wizards, with whom he would spend the next seven Major League Soccer seasons. Klein made over 200 appearances for the Wizards, scoring 39 league goals and being named MLS comeback player of the year in 2005 after a torn ACL cut his 2004 campaign short. Klein also won the award in 2002 after suffering the same injury a year before. In 2006, Klein was traded to Real Salt Lake for allocation money. After making 43 appearances for the Salt Lake club and scoring eight more goals, Klein was traded to the Galaxy in June 2007.
Klein made an immediate impact in Los Angeles, earning club MVP honors during his first season with the Galaxy. He would go on to make over 100 appearances for the Galaxy, registering five goals and fifteen assists while helping the team win the 2009 Western Conference Championship and the 2010 Supporters' Shield. Klein also played a key role in the 2010 MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations as an MLS player.
Upon his retirement, Klein's 333 MLS regular season appearances stood as the fifth most all-time. As a player, he won a US Open Cup, an MLS Cup, two Supporters' Shields, and three Western Conference Championships. He also earned 22 caps with the US Men's National Team, scoring five goals.
Very impressive resume, right there.
After his retirement as a player, Klein served as the Senior Director of the Galaxy Academy in 2011 before being named the club's Vice President ahead of the 2012 season.
In 2013, Klein took over as the club's President and has led the Galaxy to new heights. Under his direction, the club has invested $15 million into the Stub Hub Center while generating $9 million in sponsorship revenue. During this time, the Galaxy became the first MLS team to operate a reserve team in USL Pro with the creation of Galaxy II, and have also re-opened the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation. Since Klein became club President, the Galaxy Academy has seen 11 players sign for USL Pro and MLS teams.
Rounding out this list of accomplishments is the Galaxy's 2014 campaign, which ended with their fifth MLS Cup victory, the most in league history. Boom.