Weeks after they announced the departures of Gonzalo Pineda and Djimi Traroe, the Seattle Sounders today bolstered their coaching ranks by announcing the hiring of Freddy Juarez as an assistant coach. Juarez arrives in Seattle after stepping down as the head coach of Real Salt Lake, where he had served since 2019. Juarez compiled a 18-23-14 record with one postseason appearance, with RSL in a playoff position (7th) this year as well.
“I am very pleased to add a coach of Freddy’s caliber to our staff. I respect the job he did as head coach at Real Salt Lake, and his eye for the game will be a tremendous asset for our team,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said in a release. “When considering candidates to bring into our coaches room, there were certain characteristics I was looking for: humble, hard-working, honest, loyal to the club. I believe Freddy checks every box and I am looking forward to bringing him on board.”
Juarez was named Interim head coach at Real Salt Lake on Aug. 11, 2019 following the dismissal of Mike Petke. That year, he led RSL to a 7-5-2 record down the stretch, finishing third in the Western Conference with a first-round victory over the Portland Timbers. RSL lost 2-0 to Sounders FC in the semi-final round, who would go on to win 2019 MLS Cup. In 2020, RSL failed to make the playoffs, finishing in 11th place in the Western Conference with a 5-10-7 record. RSL are currently in a playoff spot.
“Freddy is a talented coach who we think can be a great long-term fit for the club. He brings a diverse set of qualities, including a sharp tactical mind and an extensive background in player development,” Sounders General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said. “The fact that a current head coach in this league would embrace an opportunity to join our staff as an assistant is a testament to this club’s consistent success, as well as the respect that Brian and his staff have garnered over the years.”
Juarez joined RSL originally joining the RSL organization as academy head coach in 2010 and won the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-16 Championship in 2012. He was promoted to head coach of Real Monarchs SLC in the club’s first USL season in 2015 after which he was again promoted to an assistant coach on RSL’s staff in 2016.
Juarez’s resignation was initially reported on Aug. 27, with reports surfacing shortly thereafter that Juarez would be joining the Sounders. As he was under contract, RSL was due compensation for the acquisition. That compensation — first reported by The Athletic — was paid by Atlanta United as part of an agreement to allow Gonzalo Pineda to assume the head coaching role.
“I am excited for this new challenge and looking forward to working with Brian and his staff to contribute to the continued success of this incredible club,” said Juarez in a release. “I’m so grateful to everyone that has reached out and welcomed me as family into the Sounders ranks. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this amazing community and can’t wait to get to the grind for the fans at Lumen Field.
Juarez will be at Sounders training on Friday, and is expected to address the press about his new role.
The Sounders made some other personnel moves on the technical side, announcing that Adam Owen, High Performance Director & Technical Advisor, has returned to Europe to be with his family after one-and-a-half seasons in Seattle. ... The team announced that Sean Muldoon has been promoted to Vice President of Performance, joining Vice President of Sports Medicine & Head Athletic Trainer Chris Cornish and Vice President of Soccer Analytics & Research Ravi Ramineni as recent VP promotions on the club’s technical staff ... Leo Chu will be available for his first press conference with the Sounders after training Thursday.