As Columbus Crew SC prepares to play its first preseason game, new head coach Caleb Porter welcomed his coaching staff.
Mike Matkovic, Matt Reis and Pablo Moreira have all been hired as assistant coaches. Additionally, former goalkeeper coach and interim general manager Pat Onstad has been hired full time as the team’s technical director, reporting directly to team president Tim Bezbatchenko. Former Crew coach Gregg Berhalter also held the technical director role. It was Berhalter who first told Onstad that he would excel in such a position.
“Pat’s role with the Crew is an important one as we look to continue to build a competitive roster. And his experience in this league, his eye for talent and his shared passion for the vision of the new era of Crew SC made him the right person for the role,” Bezbatchenko said.
Matkovic joins the team from Eastern Conference rival Chicago Fire, where he was the director of operations and coaching for the Chicago Fire Juniors Soccer Club. Matkovic also previously served as an MLS assistant coach with the Fire, Chivas USA and Toronto FC, and he was head coach of the U.S. U-18 men’s national team.
Reis is traveling in the opposite direction of the old Crew staff, coming from the senior men’s national team to Columbus. He was the goalkeepers coach for the USMNT the past two years after having served in that same position with the LA Galaxy.
Moreira is a longtime Porter coworker. They worked together at the Portland Timbers and at the University of Akron. Moreira also played under Porter when he was a student at Akron.
“In looking to build our coaching staff, it was a priority to hire people who would be the right cultural fit and equally as important was having coaches who were hungry to join the Crew,” Porter said, “We’ve found that fit in Mike, Matt and Pablo. They are all top coaches who possess strong leadership qualities, exceptional character and a vast knowledge and experience at the MLS, national team and youth development levels. I look forward to their contributions as we begin our preseason camp in Chula Vista.”
The team also announced the Crew’s U-19 coach, Ben Cross, will be with the staff during preseason training.