Last season marked the final year of Jaime Moreno’s playing days at D.C. United. Last week, however, the forward officially returned to the club in a coaching role as the youth academy's technical training coach.
The decision to hang up his cleats for good – Moreno had playing opportunities he could have pursued in his native Bolivia – didn’t come easy, but the current all-time leading goalscorer in MLS was happy to stay in the area.
“It was a hard decision for me to stop playing, but at the same time, it wasn’t a hard decision for me to make to stay in DC and work with the youth,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s something new for me. I’m going to try and teach whatever I learned through the last 20 years of my career and hopefully it’ll help.”
With more than two decades of playing experience under his belt at a variety of leagues — including the English Premier League — Moreno will bring a hefty amount of knowledge to his new role.
However, though the possibility of joining United in such a role was previously discussed, both coaching and the D.C. United youth academy are somewhat new to him.
“Everything is new for me, so I’m trying to get used to it,” said Moreno. “The people that I have with me are very easy to work with — good coaches, good people — so it’s going to get easier.”
Along with working and helping DC’s five academy teams, Moreno will also assist in the summer camp programs. He expects his role to evolve and further be defined in terms of how he’ll interact with the area’s top players, but the focus will be on helping develop attacking players.
“We’re just going to go day-by-day to see what the kids need," he said. "Specifically, I’ll be working with the forwards."