Houston Dash has announced on Tuesday the appointment of Omar Morales as the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2017 National Womens’ Soccer League (NWSL) season following the departure of Randy Waldrum.
“It has been an interesting 10 days or so. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity and just ready to get working and try to get this ship turned around with the team – push the girls to get better every day.” Said Morales in a conference call.
In the process Houston Dash has made history as Morales is the first ever Latino coach in league history. Morales has already made his coaching debut with the Dash as he managed the team through their match this weekend against Washington Spirit on Saturday.
“This is something you dream of when you get into coaching,” Morales said in a Dash press release. “I learned a lot from my first game on the sideline, and as the head coach a lot of responsibility falls on you. You take everything in and learn to manage the game at this level. Other than that, its soccer.”
Morales’ appointment highlights that Dash will be taking their time in selecting a full-time head coach, and there’s no reason to say that Morales won’t be in that conversation. It highlights a succession plan as well, with Morales promoted from being the assistant with the team, after being appointed as their first ever full-time assistant in March.
The Dash organization will no doubt have learned their lessons in finding the right managerial appointment from their brother club, Houston Dynamo who struggled in Major League Soccer for two years due to what turned out to be a poor managerial selection. Unlike Dynamo, Dash don’t get the advantage of a USL affiliate to park a coach like Dynamo had with Wilmer Cabrera.
Morales’ appointment as the Dash head coach is his first professional head coaching role, after he previously served as the head coach for Eastern New Mexico University. Prior to that he was the assistant at West Texas A&M
While this hasn’t been talked about necessarily as an audition for getting the job permanently Morales spoke about the chance of taking the job permanently in the conference call. “I’m looking at this as an opportunity to push myself as a coach and push the players as a unit to get better every day, every session, every minute of every session. In regards to the job long-term. I think if you ask anyone in my position they would say ‘yes.’ I want to coach in this league for as long as I can. So my approach, more importantly, is to get the team turned around and ready to go for Orlando in two weeks and fix some things that we need to fix.”