Phoenix Rising FC head coach Juan Guerra departs for MLS assistant coach job

Jan 8, 2024, 7:30 PM

Juan Guerra...

Phoenix Rising FC head coach Juan Guerra is leaving Phoenix after its championship season for the MLS. (@PHXRisingFC/X photo)

(@PHXRisingFC/X photo)

Phoenix Rising FC head coach Juan Guerra will leave the club for an assistant coaching job in Major League Soccer, the club announced Monday.

Guerra led the Rising to a USL Championship trophy in his first full season at the helm after joining partway through the 2022 season following the mutual divorce between Phoenix and Rick Schantz.

“Juan Guerra will always be part of the Phoenix Rising family,” Rising president Bobby Dulle said in the release. “In his short time as head coach, he helped the club achieve a goal it had been chasing for seven years. We are proud to have had him at the helm during our first championship season.”

Phoenix finished the 2023 regular season 12-12-10 and 12th out of 24 teams. In the playoffs, the Rising went on a magical run for the trophy.

The Western Conference Quarterfinals and Semifinals victories both came in extra time before a one-point victory in the Conference Finals preceded a victory over Charleston in the Final which also took extra time.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity I received to come back to Phoenix and win a championship together,” Guerra said. “Being able to unify the coaching staff, the players and the front office under one culture and one goal was remarkable to see. That is what I want people to remember about my time here.”

The MLS team Guerra will join — reportedly the Houston Dynamo according to PHNX Sports’ Owain Evans — met the terms of a buyout clause in Guerra’s contract.

“This was not an easy decision to make. … but this is part of the growth and development that the profession demands,” Guerra added. “As much as this hurts – it feels good to know we are leaving Phoenix in an incredible position. I am very sure the organization will continue to have success.”

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