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The Washington Spirit have hired Jonatan Giraldez Costas as the NWSL club’s new head coach on Tuesday.
Giraldez, 32, has been the head coach at FC Barcelona Femeni since 2021.
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He replaces Mark Parsons, who was fired in October after missing the playoffs for a second straight season.
“We conducted an extensive global, data-driven search and found that Jona is the best choice to lead our players,” Spirit owner Michele Kang said in a news release. “His commitment to excellence and high-performance is second to none and the results speak for themselves, including consecutive La Liga and Supercopa titles and multiple top coach honors.
“We are grateful for his decision to join us. He will help take the Spirit to the next leveI for both players and fans.”
Giraldez’s achievements at Barcelona include one Queen’s Cup, two Supercopas, two Primera Division titles, the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League title and a 50-game winning streak in Spanish league play.
He was named IFFHS Women’s World’s Best Club Coach in 2023 and is currently one of three nominees for the best FIFA women’s coach of 2023.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the team and become part of the Washington Spirit family,” said Giraldez. “It’s a great honor and a greater responsibility to help bring the club to the next level, so I will dedicate my heart and soul to make everyone around the team proud and part of something great.”
Giraldez will join the Spirit at the conclusion of Barcelona’s season. The team said an interim head coach will be named shortly.
The NWSL season begins on March 15 with the Challenge Cup between 2023 champions NJ/NY Gotham FC and 2023 Shield winners San Diego Wave FC. The league’s expanded regular season begins the next day with two new expansion sides — Bay FC and Utah Royals FC — beginning play in a 26-match schedule.
Information from Field Level Media was used in this report.