Coaching Staff

James O'Connor - Head Coach

James O'Connor was hired as the third head coach in Club history on June 29, 2018. A native of Ireland, O’Connor joined Stoke City F.C. in their Developmental Academy and would go on to make his professional debut with the First Team.

O’Connor went on to play for West Bromwich Albion, Burnley, Sheffield Wednesday before coming to the United States to play for Orlando City in 2012.

O'Connor played parts of three seasons for Orlando City during the Club's USL Pro days. In 2012, O'Connor and City won the USL regular-season championship. In 2013 with O'Connor as a player/coach, City won its second USL Cup in three years. O'Connor retired from playing in June 2014 after accepting the head coaching position at Louisville City.

While at Louisville City, O’Connor led Louisville to the Conference Finals in back-to-back years in the first two seasons at the helm. In his third year as the manager, O’Connor’s squad earned a first place finish in the Eastern Conference and were crowned USL Champions in 2017.

In 125 matches, O’Connor posted a record of 71 wins, 26 losses and 28 draws while serving as the manager for Louisville City.

O’Connor has gone on to gain both his UEFA Pro License and USSF Pro License.


Daniel Byrd - Assistant Coach

Daniel Byrd joined Orlando City on July 6, 2018, after coaching on James O’Connor’s staff at Louisville City FC (USL) since the club’s first year in 2015.

Byrd was crucial in the success with O’Connor that saw their Louisville City squad appear in three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals from before winning the USL Cup in 2017.

Byrd played collegiate soccer at Johnson University in Tennessee, serving as captain. Byrd led the team in scoring all five seasons he was there from 2000 to 2004.

Byrd has a rich history with the development of the Club serving as a youth soccer coach for Orlando City SC during the club’s USL Pro days, while O’Connor played for the Lions.


Sean McAuley - Assistant Coach

Sean McAuley joined Orlando City on Aug. 2, 2018, after serving as assistant coach with the Portland Timbers since 2012.

McAuley was an important part of the Timbers’ coaching staff that helped the club secure its first MLS Cup (2015) and two Cascadia Cup trophies (2012, 2017), while also helping to guide the team to two first-place finishes atop the Western Conference (2013, 2017) and two qualifications for the Concacaf Champions League (2014-15, 2016-17).

A native of Sheffield, England, McAuley, previously served as the head academy manager for English club Sheffield Wednesday (2005-2011). McAuley also served as the caretaker manager for Sheffield Wednesday’s first team on two occasions, during the 2006-07 and 2009-10 League Championship seasons.

As a player, McAuley enjoyed a 15-year career (1990-2005), including one season with the USL Timbers in 2002. Beginning his career with Manchester United in 1990, McAuley played a majority of his career for clubs in the United Kingdom, including St. Johnstone, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Rochdale and Halifax Town.


Thabane Sutu - Goalkeepers Coach

Thabane Sutu (pronounced Tuh-bahn-ni Soo-too) joined Orlando City on July 6, 2018, after holding the same position on James O’Connor’s technical staff at Louisville City FC.

Under O’Connor and Sutu, the USL Club went to three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals from before winning the USL Cup in 2017.

Louisville City goalkeepers saw significant development under Sutu. In 2016, Greg Ranjitsingh stepped into the starting role and posted five consecutive shutouts. Ranjitsingh went on to earn a call-up to train with the Trinidad and Tobago national team. This offseason, Ranjitsingh was signed to a First Team contract with Orlando City.

Sutu served as the technical director at United 1996 Futbol Club since 2001. The Lesotho native captained his national team from 1994 to 1997. As a goalkeeper, Sutu won the 1995 Arab League title and three consecutive Egyptian league titles from 1994 to 1996.