CARSON, Calif. - Chivas USA announced today the hiring of Zak Abdel as its goalkeeper coach. The ex-Egyptian national team goalkeeper, who for seven consecutive seasons (1998-2004) oversaw the development of Los Angeles Galaxy and U.S. national team goalkeepers Kevin Hartman and Matt Reis, makes his return to Major League Soccer after a brief stint with the coaching staff of the U.S. U-20 national team led by head coach Sigi Schmid, which participated in last year's FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland.
"Zak has a proven track record of developing young goalkeepers, not only in MLS but across Southern California," said Chivas USA Head Coach Bob Bradley. "He truly cares about the players he works with, and brings his enthusiasm, professionalism, and a great attitude to Chivas USA."
Born in Mehalla, Egypt on July 20, 1961, Abdel had a 16-year professional career as a goalkeeper, playing for Mehalla of the Egyptian first division, where he won two championships in 1986 and 1988. Abdel also formed part of the Egyptian national team as a player with the U-14, U-16, U-17 and U-20 teams.
He came to the United States in 1994 to join the Los Angeles Salsa as goalkeeper coach. He also held the same position with Cal State University, Fullerton between 1996 and 1997, as well as PDL teams Orange County Zodiac and Orange County Blue Stars in 1997.
Abdel resides in Fullerton, California, and is married to Mercedes Cano, with whom he shares two sons, Eslam, 12 years old and Joseph, one year old.