Smith excited by coaching opportunity
Khano Smith, the former Bermuda captain, is excited about his move into professional coaching after becoming assistant coach of Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League.
Smith joins the expansion side having previously worked on the coaching staff at Southern New Hampshire University men's team, as well as youth development player co-ordinator at New England Revolution, where he had two stints from 2005 to 2008 and 2010.
The 34-year-old, who also had spells at New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer and then-League Two side Lincoln City, said he was determined to make a positive impact in his new role.
“This is an exciting time for professional women's soccer, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside some of the league's most promising players and accomplished coaching staff,” said Smith, who also served as an analyst for the Revolution on Comcast SportsNet New England.
“My goal is to help Tom [Sermanni] build a competitive squad and make a strong impact on their professional development.”
Smith will work alongside experienced head coach Sermanni, a former Torquay United and Blackpool midfielder, who previously coached the United States and Australia women's national teams.
Sermanni said Smith's appointment was an “important piece of the puzzle” for Orlando and believed his experiences both on and off the field will prove valuable during the team's debut season in the NWSL.
“Khano comes to us with tremendous experience across many levels, including professional play, youth development and broadcasting,” Sermanni said.
“His experiences on and off the field are an important piece of the puzzle to help prepare the team for a positive 2016 season.”
Orlando are scheduled to join the NWSL, the top level of women's football in the US, for the 2016 season.
They are the tenth team to be added to the league and are affiliated with Orlando City in the MLS.
They will play their home games at the Citrus Bowl at the start of the season before moving to the Orlando City Stadium, which is expected to open late next year.
Orlando have continued to strengthen their squad for the new season, signing midfielder Rebecca Edwards and defender Kristen Edmonds from Western New York Flash in exchange for a 2016 second-round draft selection (No 11 overall) and a 2017 first-round draft selection.
“Both Becky and Kristen are excellent additions to our squad, adding depth, quality and experience,” Sermanni said.
“They have significant experience at the professional level and are familiar with playing alongside each other.”
Smith, a former Dandy Town winger, retired from professional football in 2010. During his first stint at Revolution, he played in two successive MLS Cup finals, losing both to Houston Dynamo, and lifted the US Open Cup and SuperLiga trophy.