Angel Metropolis names Freya Coombe as new coach


Gotham FC head coach Freya Coombe looks on during warmups before an NWSL soccer match against the Houston Dash, Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

Gotham FC head coach Freya Coombe seems on throughout warmups earlier than an NWSL match towards the Houston Sprint on Might 15 in Harrison, N.J. (Steve Luciano / Related Press)

Angel Metropolis, Southern California’s NWSL growth group, has but to signal a participant, play a recreation or decide to a taking part in fashion.

Nevertheless it does have a coach.

And for Freya Coombe, that absence of definition is what made the Angel Metropolis teaching job so enticing within the first place.

“The clean canvas presents such an thrilling alternative to get your stamp on the tradition, on the gamers, and have the ability to actually begin with no excuses,” mentioned Coombe, who might be formally launched because the group’s first supervisor Monday. “It definitely presents a brand new, genuine, thrilling alternative to start out afresh with that new tradition.”

Coombe, who performed and coached for seven years with England’s Studying FC, is at present managing the NWSL’s NJ/NY Gotham FC, the place she guided the nation’s longest-standing girls’s skilled soccer membership by way of a remake this season, going from Sky Blue FC to the grittier Gotham model.

Her groups are 10-8-11 over the past two years, reaching the ultimate of final spring’s Problem Cup the place it misplaced to Portland on penalty kicks. Coombe will be part of Angel Metropolis when the NWSL season ends this fall.

Whereas she embraces the prospect to start out from scratch in Southern California — which hasn’t had a top-tier girls’s group for the reason that Los Angeles Sol folded in 2010 after one season — she additionally acknowledges the challenges in that, particularly given her new group’s deep pockets and celebrity-driven possession group.

“We’re going to be the group that folks wish to beat earlier than we’ve even kicked a ball. We’re going to have a goal on our again proper from the get-go,” she mentioned. “I all the time really feel flattered when groups are having to do this to you as a result of it means they’re fearful about what you are able to do.

We’re going to be the group that folks wish to beat earlier than we’ve even kicked a ball.

Freya Coombe

“Having an growth group isn’t simple. It’s not simply the case of bringing in all these stars. There’s quite a lot of thought that wants to enter it, navigating not solely the growth draft [but] with the faculty draft, having the ability to attempt to get that chemistry on the sector.”

Sky Blue FC interim head coach Freya Coombe yells instructions to her team.

Sky Blue FC interim head coach Freya Coombe yells directions to her group in the course of the second half of an NWSL match towards the Orlando Pleasure on Sept. 29, 2019, in Harrison, N.J. (Steve Luciano / Related Press)

Coombe’s expertise with the NWSL was an important motive she landed the Angel Metropolis job mentioned Eniola Aluko, the group’s sporting director.

“There’s positively a course of,” she mentioned. “A part of my technique was to usher in a coach … who has expertise inside NWSL and understood what the NWSL entailed, understood the difficult guidelines, understood the gamers, understood the transitional fashion of the league and had coaches within the league.”

Coombe’s Gotham groups have performed a possession-oriented, short-passing fashion however she plans to convey a extra versatile model of soccer to Angel Metropolis, which can affect the type of gamers she and Aluko signal.

“One factor I believe that this league has proven is the significance to have a little bit of tactical flexibility,” she mentioned. “We’re seeing groups which might be having the ability to put out totally different formations. So by way of recruitment, we’re doing an excellent job on recruiting these gamers which might be capable of be tactically versatile.”

Along with Coombe, Angel Metropolis has additionally employed Robert Udberg as assistant head coach. Udberg, who was accountable for participant growth and efficiency administration for the Chelsea girls’s group for seven years, will direct Angel Metropolis’s sports activities science, diet and conditioning packages along with his teaching duties. He most lately labored at CHX Efficiency, a London-based consultancy targeted on bodily and psychological well-being within the company atmosphere.

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Instances.

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