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Redside Sports LLC and Lane United Football Club today announced the hiring of John Galas as Sporting Director/Head Coach effective Oct. 1, 2013. Galas, 41, recently helped the Portland Thorns to the first NWSL championship as Assistant Coach. Galas returns to Eugene where he served as Assistant Coach of the UO Women’s Soccer Team for two seasons in 2003-2005. He has also coached at Florida State University, University of Arizona, and the Portland Timbers during their USL period. Before joining the Thorns in February of this year, Galas served as Director of Goalkeeping at the Real Salt Lake Academy in Casa Grande, Ariz., under US Mens National Team assistant Martin Vasquez.
Galas’ other ties to the area include coaching at South Eugene High School and at the youth club level. Local players he coached at that level who then went on to the MLS include Nate Jaqua, Brian Rowe, Terry Boss and Ty Harden. Developing similar talent will be a priority for Lane United.
Lane United FC is the newest member of the USL’s Premier Development League (PDL) Northwest Division which includes three teams affiliated with MLS sides – the Portland Timbers U-23, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 and Sounders FC U-23.
“We are delighted to welcome Lane United FC to the PDL and look forward to having them compete in one of the league’s strongest divisions starting with the 2014 season,” USL President Tim Holt said. “The Pacific Northwest has become one of the biggest hotbeds of American soccer, and we believe that with the outstanding leadership provided by Redside Sports, Lane United FC will be another success story in a region filled with them.”
Galas has a USSF A License in coaching, and received his MBA in Football Industries from the University of Liverpool. While in Liverpool, Galas also coached at the internationally renowned Liverpool FC Academy which has produced stars the likes of Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard.
“These are exciting times for soccer in the Northwest and for the Reds in particular.” Redside Sports Chairman Joe Hawes said. “John brings a lot of coaching success to the team and a lot of national and international experience to the front office. That combination should prove invaluable in our first years as a club.”
Galas’ first tasks will be to assemble a front office staff, a coaching staff and to arrange for training facilities. With all that, Galas will also have a full schedule of scouting college players as well as as many as eight elite players over the age of 23.
“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Galas said. “Leaving an organization like the Timbers and a champion in the Thorns was a very difficult decision. In the end, bringing my family back to Eugene where both my kids were born, and being given the privilege and responsibility of leading LUFC was too much to pass up.”
Lane United FC will begin league play in late April or early May 2014 and finish in late July or early August, depending on post-season play.
John Galas has relocated to Eugene with his wife, Anna, and his two sons, Caleb and Hayden.