Mark Spalding Lands Assistant Coach Role at USL Championship Side Memphis 901 FC
Mark Spalding is the new Assistant Coach at American USL Championship franchise Memphis 901 FC.
The 37-year-old Football Careers client has been lured away from a key post at Scottish giants Rangers — where he was Head of Intermediate Academy — to become former Aberdeen and Newcastle United midfielder Stephen Glass’ right-hand man in an exciting new adventure in the States.
UEFA Pro Licence holder Mark held a previous youth organisation Technical Director role in the USA before returning home to Scotland for the Gers job and brings a wealth of experience to his new role.
Spalding is already over the pond and deep in pre-season preparation with fellow Scot, Glass, as they look ahead to their season home opener at AutoZone Park against Loudoun United on Saturday March 11.
As Mark looks ahead to that big date, though, he paid tribute to his time at the Ibrox club and said:
“My three years at Rangers have flown in and I loved it. I worked with brilliant people both on and off the field there. Now, though, I’m delighted to have this opportunity in Memphis and I can’t wait to get started.”
Spalding graduated from the University of Stirling with a General Degree in Sports Studies back in 2010, going on to work as a first team coach at Dumbarton and then as assistant manager at St Mirren alongside the experienced Ian Murray.
These were key steps in the coaching journey that saw him take the plunge with his first stint in the States before the return home to Rangers.
Now he is back in the USA and Memphis are thrilled to have him join the staff. The 901 Assistant Sporting Director Caleb Patterson-Sewell said:
“We are delighted to welcome such an experienced group of coaches to our club. With the addition of Stephen and the new staff members, we feel we have put together a strong group that will not only help us push our players but to foster and create an even better winning culture here in Memphis.”
That is a telling quote as Glass and Spalding are coming into a club that finished second in the USL Eastern Conference last time out under Coach of the Year Ben Pirmann, who then quit for rivals Charleston Battery.
Glass, who impressed as a coach at MLS outfit Atlanta United before a troubled spell at his former club Aberdeen, was snapped up on a multi-year deal in the wake of Pirmann’s departure.
Memphis lost out in the Eastern Conference semi-finals last season to Tampa Bay Rowdies, bossed by another Scot in Neill Collins, and now the franchise has USL champions San Antonio FC in their sights with optimism high ahead of the new campaign.
An eight-month season lies ahead for 901 with the regular season concluding on Saturday October 14 before the drama of play-offs. But for now, Mark has his eyes trained on that home opener next month.