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CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2021) – Chicago Fire FC today announced that head coach Ezra Hendrickson has hired Junior González as an assistant coach. González brings more than 20 years of coaching experience to the Fire and previously worked alongside Hendrickson at the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC 2.

Additionally, Hendrickson announced that assistant coach and Fire legend Frank Klopas and goalkeeper coach Adin Brown will return to the first team staff for the 2022 season.

“Junior and I have worked together on two previous occasions, and he was my first choice once I became the head coach of the Fire,” said Hendrickson. “We have very similar views on how the game should be played and he’s someone that I trust to help implement my philosophy. With his addition, along with the return of Frank Klopas and Adin Brown, we’re close to finalizing the coaching staff for next season.”

González, 44, joins the Fire after spending the last two-and-a-half seasons as head coach of LA Galaxy II in the USL Championship. González originally joined the LA Galaxy first team as an assistant coach in 2018, where he worked alongside Hendrickson, before being appointed to LA Galaxy II as interim head coach on July 19, 2019.

“It is an exciting time to be joining the Chicago Fire FC project,” said González. “I’m looking forward to working alongside such a diverse and qualified technical staff to prepare this team to compete in the upcoming season. Chicago has such a rich soccer tradition with so many diverse communities represented. I am honored and humbled to be a part of this organization and will work relentlessly to help implement the Club’s vision moving forward.”

After leading LA Galaxy II to a USL Championship playoff berth in 2019, González was named the team’s full-time head coach going into the 2020 season. Overall, he compiled a 26-25-12 regular season record during his time with LA Galaxy II, guiding the team to the playoffs on two occasions (2019, 2020). Additionally, during his tenure 14 LA Galaxy II players went on to sign MLS contracts with the Galaxy first team. 

His extensive coaching career also includes stints as head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Toros FC (USL Championship) with additional experience as an assistant coach and Director of Scouting with Chivas USA in MLS, as well as an assistant coaching role with Seattle Sounders FC 2. At the international level, he was an assistant coach for the U-15 U.S. Boys’ National Team and the U-17 U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2015 FIFA World Cup in Chile.

González transitioned into coaching in 2001 as an assistant coach for the University of California, Riverside men’s program. Three years later he became the head coach, and under his guidance 30 players were named All-Big West Conference – including two Big West Conference Players of the Year – and six players went on to MLS and USL careers. In 2011, González was named the Big West Coach of the Year.

As a player, González won the 1997 NCAA National Championship with UCLA. His collegiate career included four trips to the NCAA tournament and three Mountain Pacific Conference Championships. González continued his playing career with the USL’s San Diego Flash, and his career continued throughout California before his final stop with the Utah Blitz.

González is fluent in English and Spanish and obtains his U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) “Pro” License.

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