San Antonio’s new USL team will be announcing their new coach on a Thursday afternoon press conference at Toyota Field. It is expected that coach will be revealed as Darren Powell, which was initially reported by Paul Tenorio at the Orlando Sentinel reported and sources confirmed to the San Antonio Soccer Examiner on Wednesday.
Powell will join the club from Orlando City SC where he served as part of the coaching staff at Orlando City’s US Soccer Development Academy. With a USSF DA being in the plans for the new club in San Antonio, Powell will no doubt be focused on helping build that.
The role at San Antonio will be Powell’s first ever professional head coaching position, following in the footsteps of former Scorpions coach, now at Rayo OKC, Alen Marcina. Powell does have success from his collegiate career as he served for nine years.
The signing of Powell, makes him the second Elon coach to work in San Antonio, with former UTSA Women’s Soccer Head Coach, Steve Ballard also having spent time at Elon. Ballard was there from 1978 – 1987 and gave Eton their first silverware while Powell is the only other Elon coach to claim silverware.
While at Elon Powell claimed five trophies for the school, winning two regular season titles and three consecutive conference championships. In 2012, Powell claimed the double at Elon and gave Elon soccer their first ever NCAA post-season win in 2013, his last season with the Phoenix.
Under Powell, three Elon players went on to sign MLS contracts with Steven Kinney being drafted by Chicago Fire in 2010, Clint Irwin joining the Colorado Rapids in 2011, and Gabe Latigue joining New England Revolution in 2012. Chris Thomas is a notable absence there, having won All-American honors while coached by Powell who won conference coach of the year in 2005, 2008 and 2012.
After leaving Elon, Powell has been serving at Orlando City SC’s USSF DA as part of the coaching staff, serving as head coach for the U17/18 squad. Under Powell, Orlando City have put together an organization seeking to build a pathway to MLS success, San Antonio will be looking to build the same thing, and Powell’s success at developing players is unquestioned, now he makes the next step in his career and will hopefully be taking San Antonio with him.