A new coach will steer Detroit City FC into its pivotal 2019 season, which will see them transition to pro soccer. The club on Friday announced the hiring of veteran coach and scout Trevor James, a former professional soccer player who has worked with big European clubs including FC Barcelona and FC Porto, the English men’s national team and several Major League Soccer clubs.

The club will host a public meet-and-greet with the new coach at the new City Clubhouse, 3401 E. Lafayette St., at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14.

James was most recently an assistant coach of North American Soccer League side Indy Eleven during the final year of that professional league in 2017, and he oversaw the club’s transition to the United Soccer League as technical director. He replaces Ben Pirmann, City’s coach from 2013 through 2018, who left the club in December and was later named assistant coach of USL Championship side Memphis 901 FC.

James will also have the role of general manager for the Rouge.

New DCFC Coach Trevor James

“Through an extensive coaching search, Trevor demonstrated an appreciation for our club and its potential,” CEO Sean Mann said in a statement. “Most importantly, we’re excited to have Trevor’s years of experience building professional rosters as part of our organization as we start this next chapter for DCFC.”

James played with English First Division club Ipswich Town FC and started his coaching career in 1985 as a youth academy coach for the club. He later worked with Colchester United before working as a freelance talent scout for Barcelona, Newcastle United, FC Porto, Sporting Lisbon and the England national team during the buildup to the 1990 World Cup. 

He moved stateside starting in 2006, starting as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy until 2010, including two stints as interim head coach and responsibilities for overseeing the club’s youth academy. He later served in coaching and scouting roles for fellow MLS sides the Portland Timbers and Chicago Fire.

“There is so much positive momentum as we move into the professional era of Detroit City FC with a shared vision and passion for the game and the community, and we will work tirelessly to field a team that reflects the values and passions of the club and its fantastic and loyal supporters,” James said.

City will play their last season of semi-pro soccer in the National Professional Soccer League starting in May, then transition to professional play in August to the inaugural NPSL Founders Cup with 10 other clubs from around the country. 

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