LAFC announced today that Director of Football Operations Marco Antonio Garcés will depart the Club to join Spain’s Celta Vigo of La Liga as its new Sporting Director.
“We are incredibly thankful for the work that Marco did in his time with us,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said. “His experience and expertise were invaluable in helping build a team that made history in 2022 and 2023 and in launching LAFC2. We wish him all the best with this incredible opportunity with Celta Vigo.
Garcés, 50, joined LAFC after a successful 11-year tenure at Liga MX Club de Fútbol Pachuca, where he served the last seven years as Sporting Director after also working as Chief Scout and Director of Football and Sports Sciences.
“It was an honor to work with John, Steve, and the entire staff at LAFC and Major League Soccer,” Garcés said. “It was such a great experience to be a part of this amazing LAFC community. I want to thank the fans, players, and everyone in L.A. who helped me and my family enjoy our time in Black & Gold.”
Garcés was a member of the LAFC staff that delivered the 2022 Supporters’ Shield and 2022 MLS Cup to Los Angeles and helped the Club advance to the 2023 Concacaf Champions League Final and the 2023 MLS Cup Final while navigating an MLS record 53-game schedule in all competitions.
While at Pachuca, Garcés helped the club win the 2016 Liga MX title, the 2017 Concacaf Champions League, and deliver a third-place finish in the 2017 Club World Cup. Pachuca also collected trophies at every youth level and was a top supplier of players to Mexico’s youth and senior national teams.
A former Liga MX star who also appeared for the Mexican National Team, Garcés has an extensive background in European football, having served in the Liverpool FC academy in 2008-09. In 2009, Garcés also worked for Real Madrid CF and the Euro 21. From 2010-2016, Garcés was a scout for Manchester United in the Concacaf region.
As a player, Garcés was a four-time Mexican League Champion and a two-time Concacaf Champions League winner. He began his career in the youth system of Club Deportivo Cruz Azul in 1989 and signed his first professional contract in 1991 with Cruz Azul Hidalgo in the Mexican third division. Garcés joined Cruz Azul in the top Mexican league in 1994 and went on to win trophies in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Garcés also played with Tecos UAG (1998-99) and Chivas Guadalajara before joining Pachuca in 1999. He helped Pachuca to trophies in 1999, 2001 and 2003. He represented the Mexican National Team, making five appearances for “El Tri” during the 2002 Concacaf Gold Cup.