Former interim United States Men’s National Team manager Dave Sarachan has been announced as the head coach of North Carolina FC (NCFC). NCFC is based in Cary, North Carolina and plays in the USL Championship (known last year as simply the USL, the league has rebranded).
The team missed out on the USL playoffs in 2018, finishing 9th in the 16 team Eastern Conference (the top 8 make the playoffs). Sarachan replaces Colin Clarke who led the club since 2011. NCFC owner Steve Malik currently sits on the USSF Board of Directors as one of two Pro Council Representatives (the other being Don Garber). Malik has been pushing for NCFC to win an MLS expansion bid, although the team faces tough competition.
Regarding his hiring, Sarachan told the NCFC website:
“I am very excited to be joining NCFC as its head coach. To have an opportunity to be aligned with quality people, excellent facilities, a soccer rich community and a shared philosophy in terms of vision and ambition is every head coach’s wish. I look forward to working with Steve and Curt and all of the NCFC family in building a team that we all will be proud of and that will contend for trophies.”
This will be the first time Sarachan has been the head coach of a club side since 2007, when he was in charge of the Chicago Fire. Sarachan won two U.S. Open Cups and the Supporter’s Shield during his time in Chicago (2002-2007). He has spent much of his career as an assistant coach and worked with Bruce Arena for 8 years at the LA Galaxy and 1 with the USMNT.
After serving as USMNT manager from the end of 2017 through 2018, Sarachan amassed a 3-5-4 record with all of these matches being friendlies. He brought about a much-needed changing of the guard for the USMNT, that resulted in young players such as Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie becoming fixtures in the starting XI.