Four days after it confirmed it was shuttering its USL Championship team, the longest-running second division team in the country, and moving to USL League One, North Carolina FC announced that head coach Dave Sarachan (second from right) has left the club.
Sarachan joined North Carolina FC ahead of the 2019 season after serving as the interim U.S. national team coach for more than a year. In two seasons, he had an overall record of 22-18-9 in USL Championship matches.
NCFC had a seventh-place finish in the USL Championship's Eastern Conference in 2019. It was 6-8-1 and finished third in its four-team group in 2020 when the season was shortened due to COVID-19.
On Friday, Sarachan said his "ambitions for the future of the club differed from the organization’s recent decision. It’s disappointing because we were moving this team forward and building something special. However, their decision made it clear that it is in my best interest to move on and I have decided to do so.”
My decision to leave North Carolina FC pic.twitter.com/Y5mreiYrWf— Dave Sarachan (@DaveSarachan) January 15, 2021
Sarachan, who coached the national team for 12 games in 2017-18, replaced Colin Clarke, who coached NCFC for the seven seasons (six in the NASL and one in the USL). Sarachan was an assistant coach under Bruce Arena with the LA Galaxy and on the U.S. national team, taking over as head coach when Arena resigned after the USA failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Sarachan had previously been Arena's No. 2 at the University of Virginia (1984-87) and D.C. United (1998).
In his one previous pro head coaching stint, Sarachan led the Chicago Fire to Open Cup titles in 2003 and 2006 and the Supporters' Shield title in 2003 when it lost to San Jose in MLS Cup. His MLS record in five seasons was 55–50–31.