Former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura was named head coach of the club's USL side Swope Park Rangers on Monday.
Nagamura, who played for SKC from 2012 until he retired from his 12-year MLS playing career following the 2016 season, served as an assistant with Swope Park Rangers in 2017, helping the team to their second-straight Western Conference championship and appearance in the USL Cup final.
“It’s an amazing feeling and a great honor to become the head coach of Swope Park Rangers,” Nagamura said in a statement released by SKC. “I want to thank Sporting KC ownership, Peter Vermes and the entire organization for this opportunity. I will do everything I can to reach our objective of developing and preparing young players to make an impact on the first team.”
“Paulo’s transition from Sporting KC player to Swope Park Rangers assistant coach was seamless this year because he has a great understanding of our club culture and system of play,” said SKC Manager Peter Vermes. “With his knowledge base and experience competing at the highest level, Paulo is well prepared to develop players well into the future as they progress along our professional pathway. This will make him an excellent head coach and mentor for young players as they grow within our club.”
Nagamura will play an important role at Rangers in the development of SKC academy products as they look to bridge the gap from youth soccer to MLS. The 34-year-old Brazilian, who becomes the third-youngest active head coach in USL, recorded 252 regular season appearances and won two MLS Cup and three US Open Cup titles with SKC, LA Galaxy, Toronto FC and Chivas USA during his MLS career.