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Nashville SC adds to coaching staff for inaugural MLS season

Nashville SC has added three coaches to Gary Smith’s MLS coaching staff

The coaching staff for Nashville SCs inaugural MLS season. (Photo courtesy of Nashville SC)

Nashville SC has added Steve Guppy, Brett Jacobs and Matt Pickens to coach Gary Smith’s coaching staff, the club announced Wednesday.

The four helped the Colorado Rapids win the 2010 MLS Cup and now reunite for Nashville SC’s inaugural MLS season. 

Guppy and Jacobs will be assistant coaches and Pickens will be the goalkeeping coach. 

Guppy and Jacobs were a part of Smith’s coaching staff with the Rapids while Pickens was the team’s goalkeeper. From 2009-2011, the Rapids won double-digit games in each season and had two MLS Cup Playoff appearances. 

“There is a lot of familiar faces in our coaching staff,” Smith said in a release. “When I look at what we achieved back in 2010, and more importantly what we achieved across the course of those four years working together, I feel very enthused about our next chapter working together.”

Guppy played in more than 550 matches as a professional from 1988-2008, including two separate stints in the Premier League with Leicester City. He appeared in 161 games for the club from 1997-2001 and then rejoined the club in 2004.

Guppy then joined Smith’s staff at Colorado at the conclusion of his playing career. He spent the last five years working with the Republic of Ireland National Team and then joined Nottingham Forest’s staff in 2019.

Jacobs joined Nashville SC for the club’s 2019 USL season. 

Before Nashville SC, he served as the head coach and technical consultant for Europa Point Football Club in Gibraltar. He has also been a national staff instructor for U.S. Soccer since 2005. 

Pickens has been the goalkeeper for Nashville SC during the club’s last two USL seasons. A veteran goalkeeper with MLS experience with Colorado and Chicago, Pickens helped Nashville reach the USL playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

During his MLS career, Pickens logged over 13,000 minutes across 156 appearances. The 2020 season will be his first as a full-time coach after playing for 15 years. 

Smith was hired as Nashville SC’s coach in 2018 and guided the team during its two seasons in the USL. Nashville SC reached the 2019 Eastern Conference semifinals in the USL Championship, losing 1-0 to Indy Eleven. 

“The idea of having continuity among the coaching staff is really important for us,” Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs said in a release. “I think you tend to find that most head coaches have a stable they work with wherever they go. The opportunity for Gary [Smith] to have this group of coaches who have worked together in a very successful setting in Colorado in invaluable. We’re excited to have them all reunited here.”

Nashville SC hosts Atlanta United in the club’s first MLS game on Feb. 29. 




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