Fresno FC takes another step toward 2018 debut. New coach will meet public Monday

Fresno Football Club hired an Englishman with long ties to U.S. pro soccer to be its first head coach, the franchise announced Thursday morning.

Adam Smith, 46, will lead Fresno FC onto the field in March 2018 for its inaugural United Soccer League season.

His first work as Fresno FC coach is this weekend with open tryouts. Monday beginning at 5:30 p.m. he’ll be at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. for the USL Cup Final Watch Party.

Smith has been the top assistant at Sacramento Republic FC the past three seasons, making the USL playoffs each year. He was also the technical director of coaching for Elk Grove Soccer Club.

Prior to Sacramento, Smith spent five years with the Portland Timbers – two seasons as goalkeeping coach when Portland joined MLS and then beginning in 2012 serving as the franchise’s academy director and goalkeeping director.

He came up through the Everton FC academy in England and has played professionally and semi-professionally in England, Scotland, Asia and the U.S. He played on USL championship teams in both 2002 and 2003.

“I’m in sports because I want to win,” Smith said. “I had three great years in Sacramento, five great years at Portland Timbers, so I’m hoping I’m given time here in Fresno to build something the San Joaquin Valley can be proud of.”

Smith is joined in Fresno by his wife and two children.