Dave Sarachan was officially unveiled as the new head coach of USL Championship club North Carolina FC on Monday, marking the next chapter for the man who led the US men’s national team for over a year during an awkward phase of transition following the failed 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Appointed in a caretaker role after Bruce Arena’s resignation in the wake of the shocking Hexagonal loss at Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 10, 2017 that eliminated the US from contention for Russia 2018, Sarachan ended up overseeing 12 friendly matches (with a record of 3-5-4) before Gregg Berhalter was named USMNT coach last month.
The former Chicago Fire head coach and longtime LA Galaxy assistant made fresh blood the focus of his time in charge, giving out senior international debuts to 23 players. He has been asked to do similar work at NCFC, with a mandate to “lead the next step of the club’s evolution, guiding the organization’s professional team with an eye on the youth-to-pro pipeline and player development,” and in that vein the club’s academy director, John Bradford, has been named as one of his assistant coaches.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dave Sarachan as the new North Carolina FC head coach,” said NCFC president and GM Curt Johnson in a club release. “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.”
Members of the USL Championship, the newly-renamed second-division league, Raleigh-Durham-based NCFC are also MLS expansion hopefuls, having submitted a bid to be considered in the league’s ongoing phase of growth while pursuing a soccer-specific stadium project in downtown Raleigh. The club also operates a women’s pro side, reigning NWSL champions the North Carolina Courage.