James O’Connor will direct Louisville City FC for one more United Soccer League game Saturday before he takes over as Orlando City SC head coach.
O’Connor was named coach of the MLS team Friday.
His first game will be against the Los Angeles Football Club Saturday, July 7.
Lions interim head coach Bobby Murphy will lead the Lions through Saturday’s match at Atlanta United. Murphy had been coaching Orlando City since former New York City FC head coach Jason Kreis was sacked June 15.
“James was our top target going into the coaching search. He has proven himself a consistent winner as both a player and coach at the USL level, and now is extremely eager to prove himself in MLS,” Orlando City general manager Niki Budalic said. “James is very aware of the winning culture we have built in Orlando and what it will take to uphold that tradition in both the short and long-term. We couldn’t be more excited for him to get started.”
O’Connor, 38, guided Louisville City FC to an 18-6-8 record to finish atop the Eastern Conference before leading the team to the 2017 USL Cup Championship in his third year as head coach.
Louisville City sits in third place and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this year with wins over MLS team New England Revolution in the fourth round and USL side Nashville SC in the Round of 16.