Freddy Juarez was named the new Sounders FC assistant coach, the club announced Wednesday.
Juarez, 43, resigned as head coach of Real Salt Lake in August. He accepted that position in August 2019 and compiled a 18-23-14 record, leading RSL to one postseason appearance and in contention for a playoff berth this season.
“I am very pleased to add a coach of Freddy’s caliber to our staff,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said in a news release. “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. When considering candidates to bring into our coaches’ room, there were certain characteristics I was looking for: humble, hardworking, honest, loyal to the club. I believe Freddy checks every box and I am looking forward to bringing him on board.”
The Sounders also announced Adam Owen returned to Europe after joining the club in 2020 as high-performance director and technical adviser. And Sean Muldoon was promoted to vice president of performance.
“Like we’ve done with our player development system, we also believe strongly in promoting quality members of our technical staff,” Garth Lagerwey, the Sounders president of soccer and general manager, said in a news release. “We’d like to congratulate Sean on this opportunity to step into a leadership role, and he’s in good company with the likes of Chris Cornish (vice president of sports medicine and head athletic trainer) and Ravi Ramineni (vice president of soccer analytics and research), both of whom were also recently promoted to the rank of Vice President. Continuing to invest in our people is critical to our overall culture of our club and sustained success.”
Juarez, who’s from New Mexico, played 10 seasons in the USL for the El Paso Patriots and Minnesota Thunder, retiring in 2007. He joined the RSL organization as an academy head coach in 2010 where he led the team to a U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-16 Championship in 2012.
In 2015, Juarez was named head coach of the Real Monarchs SLC for their inaugural USL season. He joined the RSL first-team staff as an assistant coach in 2016.
“There (are) a few MLS coaches in the league that I believe I can learn (from), and Brian is definitely one of them,” Juarez said via the club’s website regarding why he took the position. “When I reached out to him in the offseason — I reached out to him on a couple occasions just to talk to him a little bit about managing because from afar he seems to be someone that creates a great culture — he always picked up the phone and had time for me. As competitive and as good as he is in the league, he still has time for people.”
Schmetzer had room on his technical staff after the departures of Gonzalo Pineda and Djimi Traore. Pineda was named head coach for Atlanta United in August while Traore’s position in Europe is pending announcement.
The Sounders (12-4-6) are off until they host Minnesota United FC at Lumen Field on Sept. 11 due to a FIFA international window. Seattle was shutout 2-0 by rival Portland in its last outing and has not won at home since defeating Houston at Lumen Field on July 7.
“Freddy is a talented coach who we think can be a great long-term fit for the club,” Lagerwey said in a news release. “He brings a diverse set of qualities, including a sharp tactical mind and an extensive background in player development. 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.”