assistant coaches hire

Orlando City SC hires assistant coach Daniel Byrd and goalkeeper coach Thabane Sutu to join the technical staff of head coach James O’Connor.

“Daniel and Thabane were obvious fits for the technical staff, not just because they worked well with James, but because they also had a lot of success at Louisville,” Lions general manager Niki Budalic said. “That’s been a primary focus as we prepare for the second half of the season and beyond. We’re very excited for Daniel and Thabane to join us.”

Byrd and Sutu join Orlando City from United Soccer League (USL) side Louisville City FC, where they coached with O’Connor since the club’s first year in 2015. Under O’Connor, Byrd and Sutu, LouCity made three consecutive trips to the USL Eastern Conference Final, falling to the eventual champion twice before raising the USL Cup in 2017.

Before heading to Louisville, Byrd knew O’Connor while the two were both at Orlando City SC during the Club’s USL Pro days. Byrd was an Orlando City Youth Soccer coach while O’Connor was a player/coach for the Lions.

Byrd, who grew up in Zambia and Mozambique with his missionary family, played college soccer at Johnson University Tennessee from 2000 to 2004, where he was the captain and leading scorer. In 2012, Byrd joined the coaching staff at St. Catharine College in Kentucky before heading to Louisville.

In addition to coaching LouCity’s goalkeepers, Sutu served as the technical director for United 1996 Futbol Club, a prominent youth program. As a professional goalkeeper, Sutu won the Arab League title in 1995 and three straight Egyptian league titles from 1994 to 1996. Sutu was the goalkeeper for and captained his native Lesotho national team from 1994 to 1997.