Orlando City hires James O'Connor as new head coach, USL team confirms

O'Connor replaces Jason Kreis

Orlando City's new soccer stadium. (February 2017)
Orlando City's new soccer stadium. (February 2017)

ORLANDO, Fla.Orlando City has hired James O'Connor as the team's new head coach, according to Louisville City FC, where he previously coached.

"Officials were informed this morning that head coach James O’Connor, who has led the team to the USL Championship and the Round of Eight in the US Open Cup, as well as assistant coach Daniel Byrd, have agreed to a deal in principle to accept the coaching position with Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC," the team posted on its website.

O'Connor, who played for Orlando City when the team was in the USL Pro League, has deep ties to the club.

Orlando City confirmed the news Friday afternoon.

“James was our top target going into the coaching search. He has proven himself a consistent winner as both a player and coach at the USL level, and now is extremely eager to prove himself in MLS,” Lions general manager Niki Budalic said. “James is very aware of the winning culture we have built in Orlando and what it will take to uphold that tradition in both the short- and long-term. We couldn’t be more excited for him to get started.”

O'Connor replaces Jason Kreis, who was fired earlier this month.

“This has been a difficult decision for myself and my family and in such a short space of time," O'Connor said. "While I will be forever grateful for my time here with Louisville City FC, the opportunity to coach in Major League Soccer is simply one I cannot pass up." 

Orlando City is currently 6-9-1 and in eighth place in the Eastern Conference of MLS.

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