On Tuesday, a report emerged that former Sporting Kansas City midfield and SKC II head coach, Paulo Nagamura, would be hired as the new coach of the Houston Dynamo. The report came from Glenn Davis, the play-by-play announcer for the Dynamo, and it appears to be quite credible.
You’ll remember that Nagamura and Sporting KC II mutually agreed to part ways as Paulo wanted to pursue other opportunities.
I personally thought Nagamura might have to take an assistant coaching gig or catch on at another lower division team before making the leap to MLS because he ended his time with SKC II with a 31-60-25 regular season record (2-1 in the playoffs), winning just 26 percent of his games he coached. A big part of that record is that SKC II were tasked as a development side, with winning being secondary to producing a path from the SKC Academy to Sporting Kansas City.
Paulo has a storied professional career having come through first the youth system in Sao Paulo before joining Arsenal’s academy. He played professionally for the LA Galaxy, Toronto FC, Chivas USA, Tigres (Liga MX) before retiring from playing as a member of Sporting KC.
It will be interesting to see Nagamura running a rival in the Dynamo. He’s not the first former Sporting player to join the coaching ranks, following guys like Josh Wolff (Austin FC) and Davy Arnaud (who was briefly the interim manager for the Dynamo). He may be the first coach to come from the Peter Vermes “coaching tree,” though General Manager Mike Jacobs of Nashville SC came from SKC as well, then again, he’s not the coach.
The Dynamo are under new ownership and will look to turn around a franchise that has fallen into a bit of disarray over the years. If they can, this hire may add just a bit more heat to the recently cooling rivalry between SKC and the Dynamo.
Sporting KC II remain without a head coach for the 2022 season. It will be their first since leaving the USL Championship and joining MLS Next Pro.