Dave Sarachan, former USMNT coaching assistant and interim manager, has taken a role as the head coach of the Puerto Rican men’s national team. Sarachan served under Bruce Arena as an assistant with the United States men’s national team twice, from 1999-2002, and again in 2017. After the MNT failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and Arena resigned, Sarachan took over the head coaching position on an interim basis.
From November 2017 through November 2018, Sarachan headed the team through 12 friendly matches, posting a record of 3 wins, 5 losses, and 4 draws. While Sarachan’s short time in charge is not remembered particularly fondly, he notably was the one to first introduce a number of important players to the senior men’s program, giving debuts to a slew of players including Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Zack Steffen, and Josh Sargent.
After leaving the USMNT, Sarachan served as the head coach of North Carolina FC in the USL. Sarachan has also previously held assistant positions with DC United, LA Galaxy, and served as the head coach for the Chicago Fire for five years.
Sarachan joins this Puerto Rico side just as they are about to enter World Cup qualifying. Puerto Rico is able to compete in international matches even though they are a part of the United States because they are an independent territory and have a fully recognized federation. This is similar to how England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (the USMNT’s next opponent) all have their own national teams even though they are all part of the United Kingdom. World Cup qualification frankly represents a tall order for El Huracán Azul, who 179th in FIFA’s rankings of national teams. The team enters World Cup qualifying in Round 1 and placed in Group F, with Trinidad & Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, and the Bahamas. The next game for Puerto Rico and Sarachan is a qualifier against Saint Kitts and Nevis in March.