Soccer

Republic FC announces coaching changes

Republic FC assistant coach Rod Underwood shares a light moment with team president Warren Smith during an August 2014 practice.
Republic FC assistant coach Rod Underwood shares a light moment with team president Warren Smith during an August 2014 practice. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Republic FC has elevated Rod Underwood, Sacramento’s lead assistant coach last season, to its new academy director and hired former Portland Timbers academy and goalkeeper director Adam Smith as its new assistant head coach.

Underwood will oversee the formation of Republic FC’s new youth academy program that is scheduled to get underway later this year.

He was head coach Preki’s right-hand man during Republic FC’s historic first season.

Previous to Republic FC, Underwood served as an assistant coach and academy coach with the Portland Timbers. He was part of the coaching staff that led the Portland U23s to a 7-3-4 record and the USL Premier Development League Western Conference finals in 2013. He joined Republic FC in 2014 as a part of the affiliation between the two clubs.

“Rod was a large part of our championship team last year,” Preki said in a press release. “He knows our style of play and philosophy, and I am confident that he will run our academy using those same principals.”

Smith began in Portland as a goalkeeper coach in 2010 before moving to academy director and goalkeeping director in 2012. He played on teams in England, Scotland, Asia and the United States as a pro and semi-pro and was a director of youth development and an assistant coach with the USL Pro Wilmington Hammerheads.

He is the son of Republic FC technical director Graham Smith.

Adam Smith will help lead Republic FC’s final open tryout this weekend at Cosumnes River College.

Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.

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