Today the Dynamo announced the hiring of Jimmy Nielsen, Chris Martinez, and Zach Thornton to the first team coaching staff. The three will join new head coach Paulo Nagamura who was announced earlier this month. Nielsen and Martinez will serve as assistant coaches and Thornton will be a goalkeeper coach.
Nielsen was most recently the Director of Professional Player Development with Sporting Kansas City. The Danish former goalkeeper spent time in Major League Soccer with Sporting Kansas City, earning All-Star appearances in 2010 and 2012, winning Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012, and helping SKC win MLS Cup in 2013. Nielsen also served as head coach for the Oklahoma City Energy in USL when his playing career ended, leading the team to two Western Conference Final appearances.
Martinez joins the Dynamo staff most recently having worked with Nagamura at Sporting Kansas City II for the past four seasons as an assistant. He also spent time with Colorado Rapids as the club’s Development Academy Program Director and U18/19 head coach where he was instrumental in helping develop players such as Tajon Buchanan and Sam Vines. Martinez is a member of the Colorado Soccer Hall of Fame.
Thornton is a name long-time MLS fans will remember having spent many years in the league as a goalkeeper. He spent the last seven seasons on DC United’s coaching staff. Zach spent two years working with new Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark in DC. During his playing career, Thornton won MLS Goalkeeper of the Year twice, as well as a MLS Cup in 1998, a Supporters Shield in 2003, and three Lamar Hunt US Open Cups.
The coaching staff is now taking shape ahead of the preseason and now we should see more roster moves, likely in the coming days or week. How do you feel now about Nagamura and the staff he and the front office are putting together? Let us know in the comments below.