Juarez Climbs RSL Ladder from Academy to USL to MLS to Become Fifth Head Coach in Club History
SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, December 3, 2019) – Real Salt Lake today announced that Freddy Juarez has been named the fifth Head Coach in the club’s history, after coaching at every level in the organization.
“When you look at Freddy and the progression that he has taken, he has the natural heart to develop. He will constantly develop players and help them improve their game and he’s done that for 10 years,” Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen said. “Players love to play for Freddy. He’s a father figure and he’s respected. He’s beloved and that’s hard to find in a coach.”
Juarez has been serving as Interim Head Coach at Real Salt Lake since August 11, leading RSL to third place in the Western Conference and a berth in the Western Conference Semifinals after a First Round home win against the Portland Timbers.
Juarez, 41, originally joined the Real Salt Lake organization as RSL Academy Head Coach in 2010, winning the USSDA U-16 Championship in 2012 with a roster that boasted future RSL players DF Justen Glad, DF/FW Brooks Lennon and FW Sebastian Saucedo, among others. He remained with the Academy until being promoted to Head Coach of Real Monarchs SLC in the club’s inaugural season in the USL in 2015. After two seasons in that post, he was again promoted to Real Salt Lake’s coaching staff as an assistant coach, where he has played an integral role in continued youth development at the MLS level and in implementing tactical approaches that have helped RSL improve in the standings in each of his three years on staff.
In August, he took the helm as Interim Head Coach, with RSL going 5-4-1 in the final 10 matches in that role after posting a 2-0-1 record in his three matches as acting head coach prior to being named in the interim role.
“Having gone through everything with the Academy and the Monarchs and now being able to lead the organization with the first team is awesome. It’s something I never dreamed of, but it’s what I’ve been working for in continuing to get better as a coach and leader,” Juarez said. “I want to thank Mr. Hansen for the opportunity and trust that he has placed in me and the fans for their support. I can’t wait for the season to start in 2020.”
A native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Juarez played 10 seasons in the USL for the El Paso Patriots and Minnesota Thunder before retiring in 2007. Throughout his playing career, he coached at the youth levels and continued in that capacity upon his retirement.
Real Salt Lake has led Major League Soccer in minutes played by Academy products in each of the last two seasons and reached the Western Conference Semifinals in both seasons. With Real Monarchs reaching the USL Championship Final in 2019 and the USL Regular Season Shield in 2017, RSL’s youth development structure has shown an ability to develop young players coming through the RSL Academy as well as those joining from other organizations.
RSL has reached the postseason 10 times in the last 12 seasons, winning MLS Cup in 2009 and advancing to the MLS Cup Final in 2013. Originally established in 2004, Real Salt Lake opened its inaugural season in 2005 at Rice-Eccles Stadium on the University of Utah campus before moving to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, late in the 2008 season, where the club has established the best home record in MLS.