CARSON, CA - The Los Angeles Galaxy today announced that assistant coach Afshin Ghotbi is leaving the club to assume an assistant coach position with the Korea Republic national team. Ghotbi, a member of the Galaxy's technical staff since September 2, 2004, will be joining Korea head coach Dick Advocaat's technical staff along with assistant coaches Pim Verbeek and former Galaxy defender Hong Myung Bo.
"Afshin has been a valuable member of our coaching staff and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward as he looks forward to coaching in his third World Cup," said L.A. Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton. "We expect that his unique technical expertise and on-field experience will once again provide Korea with considerable knowledge heading into the World Cup in Germany."
Ghotbi, 41, has almost 20 years of experience as a coach. Prior to joining the club last season, his first coaching stint in Major League Soccer, he held several positions worldwide. Immediately prior to joining Sampson's staff, he had served as an assistant with the Samsung Bluewings in the K-League, South Korea's premier professional league.
"Afshin has been an integral part of the Galaxy staff and its success to date. He will be greatly missed and is deserved of this opportunity to assist Dick Advocaat with the Korean national team," said L.A. Galaxy Head Coach Steve Sampson. "Any success that this team achieves beyond today will also include his efforts. I have greatly appreciated his incredible work ethic, loyalty and friendship, and I wish him nothing but the best."
Prior to his work with the Bluewings, the Rancho Santa Margarita resident served as an analyst for the Korea Republic national team in the run-up to and during FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002. The 2002 World Cup was not his first; Ghotbi also served as a member of Sampson's technical staff for the USA at France '98.
He has also worked as Technical Director and Head Coach for the American Global Soccer School from 1998-2001. While at AGSS he was involved in developing the skills of players such as the Galaxy's Peter Vagenas and the U.S. national team's John O'Brien. Prior to that stint, he was a technical consultant to several clubs worldwide, including Ajax of Amsterdam and Willem II (Holland).
The Los Angeles Galaxy will face off against the FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills on Saturday, October 1. The 7pm game, presented by Hormel Foods, will be the second in the same week, after the Galaxy defeated Dallas, 1-0, on Wednesday night in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final . For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Galaxy Ticket Office toll-free at 1-877-3GALAXY.