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15-year international soccer veteran to serve as interim head coach
Washington, D.C. (01/23/2024) – The Washington Spirit announced today that international soccer veteran Adrián González will join as the club’s new assistant coach. He will serve as interim head coach until Jona Giráldez joins the club full time at the conclusion of the FC Barcelona Femení season. González brings over 15 years of international soccer experience. His knowledge of global best practices will help the Spirit build toward owner Michele Kang’s vision to be the most preeminent sports organization.
“Adrián is a highly qualified coach with an impressive background in high performance soccer. He is the best fit to lead the Spirit because of his technical expertise and his leadership skills as a great manager,” said Giráldez. “We worked together in the past and we share the same idea of what and how we want to help develop our players to bring the team to the next level.”
González brings more than 15 years of international experience in soccer and a multidisciplinary profile. Under his leadership as head coach for RCD Espanyol, the club is in first place getting them closer to reaching their goal of a divisional promotion. The team is also leading in scoring and defending. In addition to coaching, González has worked as a sports mentor for female players focusing on developing their tactical skills and optimizing their mental and emotional performance.
“I am so excited to join the Washington Spirit. Michele Kang’s vision is huge and ambitious,” said González. “My aim is to help the club become the best onplayer development both personally and professionally. I am looking forward to optimizing player performance and helping the Spirit family to achieve a lot of success.”
González started coaching in the youth systems of Lleida Esportiu in Spain, and then moved to RCD Espanyol where he was part of the men’s U23 coaching staff and the Performance Optimization Department Director. As part of his responsibilities in the latest club, he also served as an assistant coach for the U15, U16 and U18 men’s teams before having his first international experience as a Head Coach for Ventforet Kofu in Japan. After his time in Asia, he came back to Spain to become an assistant coach for the U19 men’s team at and to lead the Sport Science Department RCD Espanyol. After this stage in his career González moved to professional soccer as an assistant coach for Xanthi FC (Greece Super League 2).
“We are excited to welcome Adrián to the Spirit. His extensive global experience and his strong leadership skills will make an immediate impact on our team,” said Spirit President of Soccer Operations Mark Krikorian. “Together Jona and Adrián bring a style of play that will propel our progress and help us achieve our goals.”
In addition to his impressive coaching credentials, González brings extensive academic training to the Spirit. González has always been involved with several academic institutions as a professor or instructor for classes related to training and football methodology (clubs, soccer federations and universities). He holds a degree in Sport Science by INEF Lleida, two master’s degrees in Sport Management and Financial Intelligence and a UEFA A license. The last five years he has concentrated on gaining knowledge and experiences in the mental and emotional optimization of athletes.
González will join the Spirit during preseason training in San Diego shortly.
About The Washington Spirit
The Washington Spirit is the professional women’s soccer team based in Washington, D.C. and plays at Audi Field in Buzzard Point. The Spirit was founded on November 21, 2012 and are an inaugural member of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the premier women’s soccer league in North America. For more information about the Spirit, visit WashingtonSpirit.com and follow the club on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.