Nashville coaching staff
Courtesy of Nashville SC

Nashville SC announce coaching staff for inaugural MLS campaign

Nashville SC announced on Wednesday their full coaching staff for their inaugural season in MLS, with Steve Guppy and Brett Jacobs (assistants) and Matt Pickens (goalkeepers) joining head coach Gary Smith.

It’s an extension of Nashville’s 2019 staff in USL Championship play as well as a reunion of the group that led the Colorado Rapids to the 2010 MLS Cup championship, with Guppy and Jacobs bringing substantial coaching experience in various settings in Europe. 

Guppy – who also played in MLS in a brief stint with D.C. United in 2005 – and Jacobs assisted Smith, while Pickens served as the starting goalkeeper for that Colorado side. Smith’s Rapids qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in two of his three years in charge and reached double-digit wins in all three seasons.

“The idea of having continuity among the coaching staff is really important for us. I think you tend to find that most head coaches have a stable they work with wherever they go,” said Nashville GM Mike Jacobs in a statement. “The opportunity for Gary to have this group of coaches who have worked together in a very successful setting in Colorado in invaluable. We’re excited to have them all reunited here.”

The news also marks Pickens’ full retirement from active play, as he’s served as a player/coach for Nashville in USL, and last year won the league’s Golden Glove award as Nashville’s starting goalkeeper. He previously played in MLS for the Rapids and Chicago Fire, accruing 57 wins and 40 clean sheets over more than 13,000 minutes of MLS action, and also logged time with England's Queens Park Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies of NASL/USL.

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