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Spirit Head Coach Jonatan Giráldez Arrives in DC Following Historic Success in Final Season with FC Barcelona Femení

June 20, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
Washington Spirit News Release

Washington, D.C. - Five months after the Washington Spirit announced Jonatan Giráldez as its new Head Coach, Giráldez has arrived in Washington, D.C., the club announced today. The arrival comes shortly after Giráldez led FC Barcelona Femení to an historic continental Quadruple in his final season with the side, winning Liga F, the UEFA Women's Champions League, Copa de la Reina and Supercopa de España Femenina.

Since his hiring by the Spirit, Giráldez's plan has always been to integrate with the club following the 2023-24 FC Barcelona Femení season. During this time, Adrián González has served as the Spirit's Interim Head Coach, leading the team to a 9-3-1 (28 points) record through 13 matches.

"I'm thrilled to join the Spirit and begin this next chapter with the club," said Giráldez. "To be part of the vision Michele Kang has for the Spirit and women's soccer globally is an exciting opportunity."

Giráldez is set to assimilate into the Spirit staff, slowly taking over head coaching responsibilities to ensure the smoothest transition possible. Accordingly, Interim Head Coach Adrián González will remain in the acting position during this time. Once Giráldez fully assumes the Head Coach role, González will remain on the technical staff as an assistant coach.

Giráldez's arrival has been much anticipated. He most recently led FC Barcelona Femení to its second consecutive UEFA Women's Champions League victory, helping secure the team's first-ever Quadruple in the same season, winning the Liga F, Copa de la Reina, Supercopa, and Champions League titles.

Giráldez began his tenure at FC Barcelona Femení in 2019 as an assistant before being promoted to be the club's Head Coach in 2021 after just two and a half seasons. He went on to win Liga F in each of his three seasons. Additionally, Giráldez led Barcelona to 58 consecutive Liga F wins to start his head coaching tenure, including a perfect 30-0-0 record in his first season at the helm.

For his stellar coaching, Giráldez was named the IFFHS World's Best Club Coach in 2023. He was also named a finalist for the UEFA Women's Coach of the Year Award in 2023 and FIFA's The Best Women's Coach award in early 2024.

Giráldez is originally from Vigo in the Galicia community of northwest Spain. He and his partner Olaya welcomed their first child, a son, in 2023, just eight days before winning the UEFA Women's Champions League.

Giráldez is joined by Andrés González and Toni Gordo, who were integral parts of his championship-winning staff at Barcelona. They will serve as Fitness Coach and Club Analyst, respectively, effective immediately.

Andrés González will serve as a Fitness Coach for the Washington Spirit, joining Dawn Scott's Performance, Medical, and Innovation team. He also comes from FC Barcelona Femení where he served as the Strength and Conditioning coach since July 2022. Additionally, González served as an assistant Strength and Conditioning coach at Real Sociedad in Spain. He also has coaching experience at the youth level in Spain. He is from Ourense, Spain.

Toni Gordo will join the team as a Club Analyst after serving in a similar role at FC Barcelona Femení since 2016. He served in various analyst and video roles at FC Barcelona during this term, including stints with the Barcelona Femení B team and, most recently, six years with the first team Barcelona Femení squad. Prior to his time with FC Barcelona, Gordo served as the Sports Coordinator at CD Palafolls and a coach for CE Mataró in Catalonia. Gordo is from Mataró, Catalonia, Spain.

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