New North Carolina FC head coach Dave Sarachan’s reputation precedes him as a winner. After capturing nearly every trophy and accolade available in United States professional soccer, the veteran coach has his eye on a new mission, guiding North Carolina FC to new heights.
The genesis to Sarachan’s arrival goes back less than a year ago when the North Carolina Football Club hosted the United States Men’s National Team in March of 2018.
“After my time here, which included a one-day press event, a training camp and a game, I came away very impressed,” said Sarachan. “I got a real sense of the whole project of NCFC. I was impressed with everything from the people to the mission of the club, the facilities and the tie in with NCFC Youth.”
During the tour, Sarachan met with North Carolina Football Club owner Steve Malik, club president and general manager Curt Johnston, NCFC Youth CEO Gary Buete and others. Stops on the tour also included meeting local media, Academy players at WRAL Soccer Park and American Outlaws at the London Bridge Pub.
Highlighting Sarachan’s trip to Cary, the USMNT defeated Paraguay 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. Additionally, his task to lay the foundation for the national team’s future success was also displayed as rising stars Marky Delgado, Andrija Novakovich and Tim Weah all earned their first caps, and goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded his first career clean sheet.
With both North Carolina Football Club and Sarachan coming away impressed from the visit in March, there was a natural match when the North Carolina FC job opened and Sarachan’s interim stint with U.S. Soccer ended.
The manager’s resume stood out among nearly 60 other candidates. His proven track record with youth development, a championship mentality and the opportunity to take the next step in the evolution of the club, all guided the process to hiring the veteran coach.
Building A Winning Mentality:
Now that Sarachan’s appointment is official, he’s already hard at work to create a successful side and build a winning mentality at North Carolina FC.
“My first order of business is to get to know the returning players and recruit quality players to the team,” said Sarachan. “We will begin to get to know one another and build a positive culture within the team on and off the field.”
A quick glimpse into Sarachan’s style of play offers an exciting prospect for the team’s future success. The skilled coach will have players with high soccer IQ. The group will break down defenders and its passing game will cut through the opposition. In the attack, North Carolina FC players will have the greenlight to showcase their own personalities and be aggressive when going forward. On the defensive side of the ball, expect the players to have a high work rate and aggressiveness to win the ball back.
“There will be a lot of demands for the players and coaches to bring their best every day,” added Sarachan. “We have to build a team that’s going to be successful, and that requires concentration and hard work.”
In addition to creating a winning team personality, youth development, specifically with the club’s homegrown NCFC Youth Academy players, will be at the forefront of the new regime’s initiatives. To strengthen the club’s growing youth-to-professional pipeline, NCFC Youth Academy Director John Bradford was named assistant coach of North Carolina FC. The longtime NCFC Youth coach, will help fully connect the dots between the Academy and the first team. Bradford will retain his duties as Academy Director, while adding coaching duties with North Carolina FC.
Youth development will flow cohesively with Sarachan who spent the better part of his tenure with the USMNT creating opportunities for young players like Josh Sargent, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams. In total, Sarachan awarded 23 first caps to rising stars in U.S. Soccer while laying the groundwork for a successful World Cup qualifying campaign for 2022.
Bradford’s connection with NCFC Youth and Sarachan’s experienced hand in guiding youth development adds another level of excitement to look forward to in 2019 and beyond. As the club continues to be on the cutting edge of youth soccer, look for more and more top talent to come from the North Carolina Football Club.
Sarachan Off The Field:
Sarachan, a father and grandfather, is a family man. The tight-knit group recently grew with the arrival of his second grandchild just months ago. The family also features a 13-year old maltipoo that still contains the energy of a puppy.
Away from soccer, Sarachan is an avid music enthusiast. He has a broad range of tastes from classical jazz to U2 and modern favorites like Chance The Rapper and Kendrick Lamar.
When he’s not on a soccer field, you can also find the manager enjoying golf, tennis or any activity that allows him to stay active and maintain his physical fitness. North Carolina will offer Sarachan plenty of outlets to enjoy his hobbies and a better opportunity at playing Pinehurst – a golf course that has always been on his bucket list.