Jeff Cassar has his staff.
Three weeks after being named head coach of Real Salt Lake upon the departure of Jason Kreis to New York City FC, the former RSL assistant coach now officially has assistants of his own. The club announced Wednesday afternoon the hiring of franchise staple Andy Williams, along with Daryl Shore, Paul Dalglish and Craig Waibel as coaches on Cassar’s staff.
"I’m very excited for Andy, Daryl, Paul and Craig to join me as assistants," Cassar said in a release from the club. "Having such an experienced staff on board will help me in my first year as a head coach, and the unique characteristics that each of them bring to the table will help the team contend for another MLS Cup."
A known commodity to the franchise since its inception in 2005, Williams, who served as RSL’s head scout the last two seasons, will coach the midfielders and relinquish full-time scouting duties. The 36-year-old Jamaican international retired from Major League Soccer in 2011.
Dalglish, the son of former Scotland and Liverpool FC manager Kenny Dalglish, recently spent the last two years coaching the Austin Aztek in the USL Premier Development League. He led the club to the 2013 USL PDL championship and won the USL PDL Coach of the Year award. The 36-year-old forward bounced around from the English Premier League to the Scottish Premier before joining the Houston Dynamo in 2006. He won two titles with the Dynamo. Dalglish will coach the forwards with RSL.
Cassar hired another former Dynamo player when he picked off Waibel, 38, from the University of Washington men’s soccer staff. The 11-year MLS vet won the MLS Cup four times as a player before retiring and becoming an assistant coach at the University of Michigan in 2011. The long-time MLS defender with 156 career league appearances will be the team’s defenders coach.
The hiring of Shore has the most intriguing back story of the new RSL assistants. The former goalkeeper turned goalkeeper coach trained Cassar and RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey in the off-seasons of their respective playing careers. The 44-year-old Shore recently served as head coach of the NASL Ft. Lauderdale Strikers from 2010 to 2013.
"Their backgrounds will also allow RSL to continue our unique position-specific coaching model," Cassar said in the release.
Now with the coaching staff situated, the club’s technical staff heads to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., this week for the 2014 MLS Combine, which runs from Jan. 10 to Jan. 14. From Florida, the staff will pick up and head to Philadelphia, Pa., for the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, Jan. 17. RSL has four selections in this year’s draft, including the 18th overall pick in the first round.
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