Dave Sarachan named as new NCFC manager

December 17, 2018
Dave Sarachan (l) with NCFC owner Steve Malik during a visit to Cary in Feb. 2018.

After a nearly nine-week search for a new manager, North Carolina FC finally have their man. Today, NCFC announced that Dave Sarachan, a longtime coach at the collegiate, professional, and national team levels, will become the fourth manager in club history.

Sarachan, 64, brings a wealth of experience, connections, and cachet to the second-division USL club. He’s been a head coach and assistant in college, Major League Soccer, and the U.S. Men’s National Team. Sarachan most recently completed a year-long stint as interim head coach of the USMNT.

A native of Rochester, New York, Sarachan became an assistant coach under Bruce Arena at the University of Virginia from 1984-1987. Sarachan then served as head coach of Cornell University for over a decade before joining Arena’s staff at DC United for the 1998 MLS season. Sarachan followed Arena to become an assistant coach for the USMNT in 1999, remaining on staff through their quarterfinals run at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Sarachan was hired as manager of the Chicago Fire prior to their 2003 campaign. In his first season with the Fire, Sarachan led the team to the MLS Supporters’ Shield, U.S. Open Cup title, and an appearance in the MLS Cup—Sarachan was also named MLS Coach of the Year. He later won the 2006 U.S. Open Cup with Chicago.

In 2008, the LA Galaxy hired Sarachan as an assistant coach, again under Arena. The duo won three MLS Cups over nine seasons with the Galaxy. In 2017, Sarachan followed Arena back to the USMNT, and after Arena resigned as head coach in November 2017, Sarachan became the national team’s interim manager through November 2018.

Sarachan isn’t a stranger to WakeMed Soccer Park. He was with the Galaxy twice—in 2012 and 2014—when the Carolina RailHawks defeated them in the U.S. Open Cup. Sarachan also brought the USMNT to Cary in March 2018 for a friendly against Paraguay.

North Carolina FC also announced that John Bradford, the current academy director for NCFC Youth, will join Sarachan’s staff as an assistant coach, signaling a desire to further integrate the NCFC pro team with its youth academy. Nic Platter will assume the post of assistant general manager for the club while retaining his position as goalkeepers coach. NCFC expects to round out Sarachan’s staff over the coming weeks.

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