Luis Gutierrez: “I’m also happy to work with Carlos again. I think we did a great job last year, and we can keep growing together as a coaching staff.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

Carlos Mendes’ first lieutenant will return this season.

The Cosmos Thursday announced the return of assistant coach Luis Gutierrez.

Gutierrez joined the organization in 2015 as the strength and conditioning coach for Cosmos B before taking on the same responsibility with the first team later that year as the club won North American Soccer League championship that season and in 2016.

In 2018, Gutierrez also served as Mendes’ assistant coach during the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season as Cosmos B recorded a perfect 10-0-0 regular-season mark and captured the North Atlantic Conference title.

“I’m very excited to be back with the club,” Gutierrez said. “This is my fourth season with the team where I have had many great experiences and have been very successful.

“I’m also happy to work with Carlos again. I think we did a great job last year, and we can keep growing together as a coaching staff. We’ve known each other since 2015 and both know the identity and history of the club, players, fans, and what the Cosmos name means.”

Gutierrez worked as a fitness coach in Spain, including for CD Toledo. He also played with the club as well as CD Badajoz in Spain’s 2B division. Gutierrez also holds a UEFA A coaching license.

“Luis has been a valued member of the coaching staff since 2015 as the club won several titles,” Cosmos senior vice president Joe Barone said. “He was a big help as an assistant to Carlos during last year’s undefeated NPSL regular season run, and we’re excited he’s returned for this year.”

Added Mendes: “I’m looking forward to working with Luis again in 2019. He played an integral role as I transitioned from player to coach last season.”