MLS NEXT Pro: Inter Miami CF, San Jose Earthquakes name coaches

After coaching hires were announced for MLS NEXT Pro affiliates at FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo FC and Columbus Crew last week, Inter Miami CF and the San Jose Earthquakes have announced who will lead their third-division sides for the league's inaugural 2022 season.

After announcing his retirement at the end of the 2021 campaign, MLS legend Federico Higuain will take the next step in his career as a Fort Lauderdale CF assistant coach, Inter Miami announced Friday.

Darren Powell returns as head coach, along with goalkeeping coach Chris Barocas. Former Inter Miami defender Ryan Shawcross is also an assistant coach after a lengthy playing career.

“We as a staff are excited to continue the work we are doing to develop the young professional players, as well as many from our academy,” Powell said in a statement. “We look forward to our campaign in a new exciting league. We are very happy to welcome Federico and Ryan to our coaching staff, whose playing experiences will be invaluable to our players' development as they both transition into their coaching careers."

Powell, who initially joined the club in January 2020 as Inter Miami director of player development and Fort Lauderdale CF assistant coach, guided Fort Lauderdale CF to a fourth-place finish in USL League One a year ago.

Prior to joining Inter Miami, Powell served as head coach of San Antonio FC in the USL Championship from 2016-19 and was Orlando City SC academy director from 2014-16.

Alex Covelo will be the head coach of Earthquakes II, San Jose announced Thursday.

He originally joined the Earthquakes as the club’s director of methodology in April 2017. He has also served as an assistant coach for the Quakes on two separate occasions. The Barcelona, Spain native holds a UEFA A coaching license.

Covelo previously served as the head coach of San Marino in the Italian third division from 2014-15, after a stint as an assistant coach and match analyst with the club in 2013-14.

Luciano Fusco, who served as head coach of the Quakes U15 and U17 Academy squads since 2018 and later became assistant director of methodology, will be an assistant coach.