Goalkeeper coach Abdel leaves L.A.

Los Angeles Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton announced Wednesday that goalkeeper coach Zak Abdel has left the club. Ignacio Hernandez will replace Abdel on the Galaxy coaching staff.

"As a club, we would like to thank Zak for all he has contributed during his tenure here," said Hamilton. "We wish him the very best in the future, wherever his career may take him. He is a very good goalkeeper coach who will be a valuable asset to whichever organization he joins."

The 42-year-old Abdel, a native of Egypt, spent the last seven years coaching the Galaxy's goalkeepers. He made significant improvements with goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, turning him into the premier shot-stopper in Major League Soccer and the lone 'keeper to represent MLS in the 2003 All-Star Game. In addition, Abdel took Hartman's understudy Dan Popik under his wing since the goalie joined the club prior to the 2003 season.

"Zak has been the single most influential coach in my development as a goalkeeper," Hartman said. His desire for perfection continuously pressed me onward toward my goals and his goals. He is an honest, passionate man who treated every player on this team like a son. We all considered him a father figure, both for his guidance and his support. We will miss him, but we also know that he will forever bleed the colors of the L.A. Galaxy."

Prior to joining the Galaxy's coaching staff, Abdel served as assistant and goalkeeper coach for the Cal State Fullerton Titans from 1996-97 and with the Orange County Zodiac in 1997. Abdel was incorporated into the Titans' coaching staff after serving as the goalkeeper coach under then assistant Octavio Zambrano with the L.A. Salsa from 1994-95. It was L.A. Salsa Head Coach and General Manager Rick Davis and Zambrano who in 1994 brought Abdel to the United States from his native Egypt.

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