Story by: Front Row Soccer

Former U.S. men’s national team coach Dave Sarachan has a new challenge – as Puerto Rican national coach.

Sarachan will take over the reins in time for the Caribbean side’s quest in World Cup qualifying.

“World Cup qualifiers are incredibly special to me,” Sarachan said on the Puerto Rico’s official website Wednesday. “So with Puerto Rico, the challenge right now is to move this group in a positive direction and that excites me.”

Puerto Rico will kick off its first-round qualifying run in Concacaf Group F March 24 against Saint Kitts and Nevis. It’s group includes Trinidad & Tobago, Guuyana and Bahamas.

Sarachan has a deep coaching resume for club and country. He was U.S. national coach from 2017-18.

He was Cornell University head coach for a decade and the Chicago Fire for six years. The Rochester, N.Y. native also was the assistant national coach during a pair of tenures with Bruce Arena including the 2002 World Cup in which the U.S. reached the 2002 quarterfinals.

Sarachan also was assistant and then associate coach with the LA Galaxy under Arena from 2008-16.

Most recently, he directed North Carolina FC from 2018-20 in the USL Championship before the club decided to drop a league to League One.

Sarachan started his playing career with the Rochester Lancers in 1976, before turning indoors to play with the Pittsburgh Spirit, Buffalo Stallions, Baltimore Blast and Kansas City Comets.