Orlando City Appoints Darren Powell and Jeff Negalha to USSDA Program
*Orlando City Appoints Darren Powell and Jeff Negalha to USSDA Program*
*OCSC continues to focus on building a solid youth foundation leading up to MLS in 2015*
*Orlando, Fla.- *Orlando City SC announced today the hiring of former Elon University Men's Soccer Head Coach Darren Powell and former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Men's Soccer Assistant Coach Jeff Negalha for the Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) program.
"We are excited to add Darren and Jeff to our team here at Orlando City," said Senior VP of Soccer Operations Paul McDonough. "They will both play key roles, along with Paul Shaw and Mark Lowry, as we continue to improve the quality of our MLS Academy. Darren and Jeff will bring new energy, philosophies and direction as we continue to develop the next group of Orlando City homegrown players."
The appointment of both Powell and Negalha adds to the list of moves that the club has made to positively impact their USSDA program, in anticipation of its entry into MLS in 2015. Earlier this year, Orlando City aligned themselves with other MLS clubs by fully-funding their USSDA program, nullifying registration, travel and uniform costs for DA players.
With multiple years of NCAA Divison I coaching experience, both of Powell and Negalha will provide an added benefit for local Central Florida players with aspirations of playing professionally or at the collegiate level.
"I'm delighted with the hiring of Darren and Jeff," said Head Coach Adrian Heath. "It further shows the commitment from ownership that they believe in building a first-class academy program. Orlando City firmly believes in the soccer talent in Central Florida and our Academy will be a large part of the club moving forward."
In nine seasons with Elon University, Powell's program produced 38 All-Southern Conference Performers, including Steven Kinney, who was the first-ever Elon player to be drafted in the MLS SuperDraft and was also named the league's coach of the year on four occasions.
This past season, Powell guided Elon to a 13-4-2 overall record, setting a new school record for regular-season wins, leading to his fourth SoCon Coach of the Year award. At the youth level, Powell has also served as an ODP Region III coach since 1997.
"Moving forward, my family and I are excited for the new challenge and opportunity at Orlando City," added Powell. "I am looking forward to assisting at all levels of the club. To be able to help young players develop in the academy and prepare them for the next level within a soon-to-be MLS club is something that I am passionate about. I would also like to thank the ownership, Adrian Heath and Paul McDonough for presenting me with this opportunity to help with the success of Orlando City Soccer Club. My family and I look forward to meeting and working with all the staff and players in Orlando as soon as possible."
Negalha joins Orlando City after spending the previous nine seasons as an Assistant Coach for UNC at Chapel Hill's men's soccer program. Of Portuguese descent and fluent in the language, Negalha served as a top assistant for UNC Head Coach Carlos Somano.
During Negalha's eight years with UNC, the Tar Heels went 119-38-26 and made seven NCAA Tournament Appearances. In 2006 and 2012 the New Bedford, Mass., native was recognized by College Soccer News as one of the top 20 assistant coaches.
Negalha has also helped assemble eight-consecutive classes ranked among the top 11 in the country, including the nation's best in 2011- the same year in which he was awarded NSCAA National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Negalha also has coaching experience in the Central Florida area, having served as an assistant coach and top recruiting coordinator for the University of South Florida from 2003-2005.
"I would like to thank the ownership, Adrian Heath and Paul McDonough for the opportunity to work with Orlando City," said Negalha. "This is a very exciting and special time in Orlando as the club transitions into Major League Soccer. I look forward to assisting the club on all levels. Also, thank you to UNC, Carlos Somoano, the student-athletes, and the entire staff for ten wonderful years at one of the best educational institutions in the country."
Both Negalha and Powell have a tentative start date of May 1, 2014.
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