Dave Sarachan

Dave Sarachan (born June 7, 1954) is an American soccer coach and former player, who currently is the head coach for North Carolina FC. Sarachan spent two seasons as a player in the North American Soccer League and four in Major Indoor Soccer League before retiring in 1982. Since then, he has coached at the collegiate, professional, and national team levels. He served as head coach with Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer from 2002 to 2007 and as interim head coach of the United States men's national soccer team from 2017 to 2018.

Dave Sarachan
Personal information
Full name David Sarachan
Date of birth (1954-06-07) June 7, 1954
Place of birth Rochester, New York, U.S.
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1973–1974 Monroe Community College
1975–1976 Cornell University
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1977 Rochester Lancers 3 (0)
1978–1979 Pittsburgh Spirit (indoor) 23 (23)
1980–1981 Buffalo Stallions (indoor) 46 (20)
1981 Baltimore Blast (indoor) 8 (0)
1982 Kansas City Comets (indoor) 12 (3)
Total 92 (46)
Teams managed
1976–1977 University of Rochester (assistant)
1983 Cornell University (assistant)
1984–1987 Virginia (assistant)
1988–1997 Cornell University
1997–1999 D.C. United (assistant)
1999–2002 United States (assistant)
2002–2007 Chicago Fire
2008–2016 LA Galaxy (assistant)
2017 United States (assistant)
2017–2018 United States (interim)
2018– North Carolina FC
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:16, July 13, 2007 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of June 21, 2006

Playing career

High school and college

Sarachan grew up in Rochester, New York, graduating from Brighton High School in 1972.[1] He then played two years of college soccer at Monroe Community College, where he was a junior college All-American in 1973 and 1974. After the 1974 season, he transferred to Cornell University, where he played two more years, and was named the team MVP as a senior.


Following his graduation, the Rochester Lancers of the North American Soccer League (NASL) drafted Sarachan. He played two seasons, 1976 and 1977, with the Lancers.[2]


After two seasons with the Lancers, Sarachan moved indoors, where he played for the Pittsburgh Spirit, Buffalo Stallions, Baltimore Blast, and Kansas City Comets.[3]


Early coaching

While playing for the Lancers, Sarachan was an assistant coach at nearby University of Rochester. After his playing career ended, he was an assistant coach at Cornell for one season in 1983.[3] Sarachan then joined Bruce Arena for the first time, becoming his assistant coach at the University of Virginia after Bob Bradley departed to become head coach at Princeton University.


After five years at UVA, Sarachan was offered the head coaching job at his alma mater Cornell, which he accepted in 1988. He stayed at Cornell for ten years, compiling a record of 64 wins, 63 losses, and 16 ties, and leading the team to NCAA tournament appearances in 1995 and 1996.

D.C. United

On December 17, 1997, Arena hired Sarachan as his assistant with D.C. United following Bob Bradley's departure from the team to become the head coach of Chicago Fire. Although Arena would leave following the 1998 season to coach the United States national team, Sarachan stayed on, assisting new head coach Thomas Rongen.

United States

Following the MLS Cup-winning 1999 season, Sarachan left to become a full-time assistant to Arena with the national team. He remained with the national team through the 2002 World Cup.

Chicago Fire

Sarachan received his first professional head coaching opportunity soon after the United States' impressive World Cup run when, after the 2002 season, Bob Bradley left Chicago for his hometown MetroStars. Sarachan was chosen for the Fire position, being named the second coach in Fire history on November 4, 2002. He and the club had a tremendous first season together, leading the Fire to the MLS Supporters' Shield with a 15–7–8 record, as well as a U.S. Open Cup victory, and an appearance in the MLS Cup, where they lost to the San Jose Earthquakes. For his performance as a rookie, Sarachan was named the MLS Coach of the Year.

Sarachan's second year was significantly harder, however, as star defender Carlos Bocanegra left MLS for Fulham before the season began, and the club lost national teamer DaMarcus Beasley to PSV Eindhoven in midseason; numerous other injuries plagued the team, and the Fire ended the season tied for the league's worst record at 8–13–9. The Fire's appearance in MLS Cup 2003 led to an invite to the 2004 CONCACAF Champions Cup, during which Chicago registered a combined 2–2–0 record against San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad and Tobago (quarterfinals) and Costa Rican powerhouse Deportivo Saprissa (semifinals). The club also advanced to the 2004 U.S. Open Cup Final but were unable to defend their crown, losing to the Kansas City Wizards.

The Fire finished at 15–13–4 in 2005. In Sarachan's fourth season, the Chicago Fire took home their fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship. On June 20, 2007, Sarachan was fired as head coach by Fire GM John Guppy.[4] Sarachan finished with a 55–50–31 league record with the Fire and 75–57–33 across all competitions.

Los Angeles Galaxy

Sarachan was hired by the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2008 to once again assist Bruce Arena. The two of them led the Galaxy in the second half of the 2008 season when there was really no chance of the team making the playoffs. In 2009, the club brought in 16 new players, and the Galaxy cut their goals against deficit almost in half and was in first place for much of the season. They led the Galaxy to MLS Cup 2009 where they lost to Real Salt Lake on penalty kicks. Sarachan would remain with the Galaxy through 2016, during which they won MLS Cups in 2011, 2012, and 2014.

Return to United States

In 2017, Sarachan returned to his previous position of being the U.S. Men's National Team assistant coach.[5] He once again was assisting head coach Bruce Arena, who was in his second stint as head coach for the national team. The U.S. Men's National Team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup,[6] and Arena subsequently resigned as the head coach.[7] Sarachan was then named as the acting Men's National Team coach for their friendly match versus Portugal on November 14, 2017.[8][9] Sarachan remained interim head coach of the USMNT until November 20, 2018.[10] Because of the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup, Sarachan's stint as interim head coach did not involve any tournaments or qualification matches and only friendlies. On December 2, 2018, it was announced that Gregg Berhalter had been selected as the new manager of the USMNT.[11]

North Carolina FC

On December 17, 2018, USL Championship side North Carolina FC announced Sarachan as their new head coach.[12]

Personal life

Sarachan is married to his wife Cherie and lives in Southern California with his two children, Ian and Alexa.

Awards and honors


Chicago Fire[13]

On December 27, 2014, the Rochester Lancers of the Major Arena Soccer League inducted Sarachan into the Rochester Lancers Wall of Fame as one of Rochester's "soccer pioneers". Sarachan played for the original Rochester Lancers of the North American Soccer League.[14]


  1. "Brighton High School Alumni". archive.is. July 7, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  2. "Rochester All-Time Player Roster". web.archive.org. October 11, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  3. "Sarachan | Rochester Lancers". www.rochesterlancers.com. April 7, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  4. "Important Dates". Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  5. Steven, Goff (January 10, 2017). "Bruce Arena couldn't bear the thought of U.S. soccer missing the World Cup". Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Fred Ryan. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  6. "Perfect Storm of Hex Results Eliminates USA from 2018 World Cup Contention After 2-1 Loss in Trinidad & Tobago". www.ussoccer.com. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  7. "Bruce Arena Resigns as U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach". www.ussoccer.com. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  8. Das, Andrew (October 24, 2017). "U.S. Soccer Names Dave Sarachan to Coach Men's Team Against Portugal". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  9. "U.S. MNT Assistant Coach Dave Sarachan to Guide MNT in November 14 Friendly vs. Portugal". www.ussoccer.com. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  10. "Thank You Dave: Sarachan Tenure Lays Groundwork for MNT Program's Future". www.ussoccer.com. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  11. "What you need to know about new U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter". ESPN.com. December 2, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  12. Northam, Mitchell; USA, Pro Soccer (January 4, 2019). "Former U.S. coach Dave Sarachan introduced at NCFC". Pro Soccer USA. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  13. Dave Sarachan at Soccerway
  14. DiVeronica, Jeff (December 11, 2014). "Sarachan, Funke, Durante, Short to be inducted to Lancers Wall of Fame". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, NY: Gannett. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
Preceded by
Bob Bradley
Chicago Fire head coach
Succeeded by
Denis Hamlett (interim)
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