Dave Sarachan: “I look forward to working with … all of the NCFC family in building a team that we all will be proud of and that will contend for trophies.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
CARY, N.C. – Former U.S. national coach Dave Sarachan Monday was named North Carolina FC head coach for the 2019 United Soccer League season.
Sarachan will guide the professional team with an eye on the youth-to-pro pipeline and player development as NCFC youth academy director John Bradford has been named assistant coach while remaining in charge of youth development role.
Nic Platter was promoted to assistant general manager and will continue in his role as goalkeeper coach.
Sarachan, the fourth coach in the team’s 12-year history, will be formally introduced to media, fans Jan. 3.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dave Sarachan as the new North Carolina FC head coach,” said club president and general manager Curt Johnson. “Dave has been a highly respected leader for both club and country at every stop during his career and knows what it takes to grow a club, develop world class young talent, and win. This is a huge moment for everyone that loves North Carolina Football Club and for soccer in the state of North Carolina.”
Sarachan has produced multiple championship moments in his career, including winning the MLS Supporters’ Shield and two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophies as the head coach ofthe Chicago Fire. He also guided Chicago to an MLS Cup final and another Open Cup final. His earned MLS coach of the year honors in 2003. Sarachan compiled a 75-57-33 record in all competitions with the Fire.
“I am very excited to be joining NCFC as its head coach,” Sarachan said. “To have an opportunity to be aligned with quality people, excellent facilities, a soccer rich community and a shared philosophy in terms of vision and ambition is every head coach’s wish. I look forward to working with Steve and Curt and all of the NCFC family in building a team that we all will be proud of and that will contend for trophies.”
The Rochester, N.Y., native most recently served as the USMNT coach from November 2017 to December while the search to find the national team’s next general manager and permanent head coach was underway. He guided the USA to several results, including a 1-1 draw against reigning European Champions Portugal, a 1-1 tie away at eventual World Cup champions France and a 1-0 victory over regional rival Mexico on home soil in September.
Sarachan helped play a critical role in shaping the next generation of U.S. talent, setting up the future success of the federation. He awarded 23 first caps to up-and-coming talents.
A member of Bruce Arena’s coaching tree, Sarachan gained experience as an assistant coach during two of the most dominant MLS dynasties. During the 1998 and 1999 seasons, Sarachan was part of D.C. United’s technical staff that won a Concacaf Champions League title in 1998 and the MLS Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield in 1999. From 2008-16, Sarachan served as the associate head coach with the LA Galaxy. That team won three MLS Cups (2011, 2012, 2014) and two Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011). Sarachan also spent time as an assistant during the USMNT’s 2002 World Cup quarterfinal run.
A former member of the Rochester Lancers, Sarachan earned Junior College All-American status at Monroe Community College in 1973 before transferring to Cornell University, where he helped the Big Red to an Ivy League title in 1975 and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances from 1975-76. Following a seven-year professional career, he held his first head coaching job at his alma mater, Cornell, from 1989-1997. His 15-2-1 season in 1995, which included an Ivy League title and NCAA Tournament appearance, still stands as the best season in program history for Cornell.