Former Philadelphia Union forward Conor Casey can officially be added to the list of former Union players with head coaching jobs in the professional ranks.
Casey was named the head coach of USL Championship club Charleston Battery on Monday. He served as an interim head coach of the Colorado Rapids in 2019.
“After an extensive process to identify the ideal candidate who will transform our club into a modern, progressive, perennial contender, Conor distinguished himself from a deep pool of candidates,” Battery owner and executive chairman Rob Salvatore stated in a news release. “Conor’s experience as both a player and coach at the highest levels of soccer, domestically and abroad, coupled with his passion to build a winning culture and identity, is a great fit to lead the new era of Charleston Battery soccer.”
Casey played for the Union from 2013-2015 during a period when Jim Curtin was getting his feet wet as a first-time head coach. Curtin took over as an interim in June 2014 after John Hackworth was let go and named head coach that November. He scored 21 goals in 70 appearances for the boys in blue.
After playing one final season for the Columbus Crew in 2016, Casey entered the coaching ranks as an assistant for the Rapids from 2017-2019 before finishing the 2019 season as interim head coach.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have been exposed to some of the best coaches and leaders in the European and American game over the last 20 years,” Casey stated in the news release. “I’m excited to take those valuable experiences with me to lead this team forward.”
Casey joins former Union teammate Danny Cruz in the USL Championship head coaching ranks. Cruz was named the head coach of Louisville City in October. He was the interim coach after Hackworth’s departure.
Other former Union players with head coaching jobs in the professional ranks include Veljko Paunović, head coach of EFL Championship club Reading and RC Celta de Vigo head coach Eduardo Coudet. Shavar Thomas currently serves as an assistant coach for the Turks and Caicos National Team.