The Washington Spirit named Albertin Montoya as interim head coach, the National Women’s Soccer League club announced Friday.
Montoya replaces Kris Ward, who was fired by the Spirit on Aug. 22.
The Spirit, the defending NWSL champions, is in 11th-place in the 12-team league with a 1-10-6 record.
“We are thrilled that Albertin has agreed to join us as interim coach for the remainder of the season,” Spirit president of soccer operations Mark Krikorian said in a statement. “He is a wonderful teacher of the game and our players will benefit from his development and leadership. We look forward to having Albertin lead this group through the final five regular season matches and are optimistic about what he will be able to add to our club.”
Montoya will take the helm for Washington’s next match on Sept. 10 at Audi Field when San Diego Wave FC comes to the nation’s capital. Angela Salem will again serve as assistant coach.
“It’s an incredible honor to be named interim coach,” Montoya said in a statement. “I want to thank Michele Kang and Mark Krikorian for trusting me with this opportunity. My goal is to provide the best possible experience for these players and do my part to help Michele and Mark build the foundation for the future of the Washington Spirit organization.”
Montoya’s experience in women’s soccer spans across the professional, college and youth national team ranks in the United States.
He served as the co-head coach of the California Storm of the Women’s Premier Soccer League starting in 1999 before becoming an assistant coach at Santa Clara University, his alma mater, and Stanford University. Returning to the professional ranks in 2009, Montoya became the head coach of Women’s Professional Soccer’s FC Gold Pride where he coached Spirit players Nicole Barnhart and Kelley O’Hara and led the team to a championship title in 2010.
Montoya also has coached the U.S. women’s Under-17 national team.