ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 7, 2016 – Orlando City SC is proud to announce that Pro Academy Director Darren Powell has been appointed as the head coach for the newest USL franchise in San Antonio, Texas, set to begin play in 2016.
The appointment marks Powell’s first professional head coaching role after a striking career at the collegiate and academy levels.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Darren who has been a great mentor and coach for our young players,” said Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “As he takes the next step in his coaching career, we’d like to thank Darren for all he has done for our Academy and wish him the best of luck moving forward.”
“I am really excited for the opportunity and project in San Antonio with a first class organization to help build a successful team both on and off the field,” said Powell. “I also want to thank Phil Rawlins, Adrian Heath, Paul McDonough and the entire coaching staff for giving me the opportunity with Orlando City. I want to personally thank each player, their families and our Academy staff for their continued efforts over the past two years. The journey with Orlando City has been a tremendous honor to be part of and truly an experience that my family and I will never forget. I would like to thank everyone at Orlando City that has made my time here very pleasurable and wish everyone continued success for many years to come.”
During his tenure with Orlando City, Powell oversaw the Club’s Pro Academy and U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) programs, coaching some of the brightest young prospects in Central Florida in the U-9-U18 age groups. In 2015, he also managed City’s U-23 team that competed in the Premier Development League (PDL).
In two seasons with the Development Academy, Powell was instrumental in creating success for the program as the Club qualified for the 2015 U-16 and U-18 U.S. Soccer playoffs and was also recognized as the Most Improved Academy in the East by U.S. Soccer. Additionally, the U-16 team received Best Style of Play honors in 2015.
Lastly, 12 players across five age groups received national team call ups while Powell was Academy Director.
Prior to joining the Lions’ Academy, he spent nine seasons with NCAA Division I program Elon University – producing 47 All-Southern Conference performers. Additionally, Powell was named All-Southern Conference Coach of the Year on four occasions.