Los Angeles Soccer: Mustapha Jarju

GALAXY: Retired Kirovski joins staff

January, 23, 2012

CARSON -- Jovan Kirovski has moved from one spot on the Galaxy's bench to another, trading in his shorts and cleats to join Bruce Arena's staff following an at-times glorious two-decade playing career.

The veteran midfielder, who spent five seasons in two stints with the Galaxy in an eight-year MLS career that followed spells with big clubs in England, Germany and Portugal, was unveiled as a new assistant coach when L.A. opened its preseason camp Monday at Home Depot Center.

Jovan Kirovski
Bob Levey/Getty ImagesJovan Kirovski

“Bruce called me a month ago, put it out there,” said Kirovski, who last season played just 244 minutes over 13 regular-season games and saw action in 21 first-team games, all competitions and friendlies. “Actually, I was really excited, and it was a great opportunity, and I love being around the club. It was a no-brainer for me.”

“I had to get him off the field somehow ...,” joked Arena, who brought Kirovski in as he began his rebuild following the 2008 season. “He's obviously a very experienced guy, he knows our club, he knows the way we do things. He's prepared himself to get into coaching. He's earned his coaching license. I think it's a good transition for Jovan, and I think he'll be a great addition to our staff.”

Kirovski, 35, replaces Gregg Berhalter, who served as player/assistant coach last year, retired as a player at season's end and has become head coach of Swedish club Hammarby.

The son of Macedonian immigrants decided when last season ended that he was done playing, although he never acknowledged so publicly, and Arena's admission last week that he would not be returning to the roster was the first concrete sign he'd retired.

“I thought about it at the end of the year. I knew it was time,” Kirovski said. “I've played the game such a long time, and it was a great way to finish [with a championship]. I knew the time was right.”

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