Houston Dash News

 Fran Alonso to lead Houston Dash as next head coach

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HOUSTON (Friday, Dec. 22, 2023) – The Houston Dash announced today that Francisco (Fran) Alonso will join the team as the head coach following an extensive search led by general manager, Alex Singer. The Spainard brings unique experience at the professional level with women’s and men’s club teams across Europe to Space City.

“We’re excited to welcome Fran to Houston. Fran is a highly ambitious coach who shares a strong belief and passion in our vision to build an exciting brand of football and a winning culture,” Singer said. “He brings a track record of developing high potential players. Working with some of the best tacticians in the game, his football acumen, winning experience and player-centric leadership will drive us forward. We are already hard at work for 2024.”

Alonso comes to Houston after being at the helm Celtic FC Women, who compete in the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL). Under Alonso’s leadership, Celtic won two Scottish Cup titles in 2022 and 2023 plus a Scottish Premier League Cup in 2021. During his time at Celtic, Alonso has led the team to a 76-11-9 (WLD) record in the league and won three of the four cup competitions the team competed in. The Women’s Scottish Cup was not contested from 2020 till the end of 2021 due to COVID-19. In 2023, the Ghirls lead the SWPL in goals scored with 81 and have allowed just nine goals for a net positive goal differential of 72.

The Madrid, Spain native joined the Glasgow based team in 2020 as the first head coach in the team’s professional history, playing a key role in the team’s trajectory, quickly making an impact implementing his philosophy, while recruiting and developing players. Alonso was key in helping the club debut on the international stage by qualifying for two UEFA Women’s Champions’ League tournaments. On an individual basis, while under Alonso, 12 Celtic players were named to their respective national team for the first time and nine players earned their first senior appearance.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to join the Houston Dash and coach in the NWSL, one of the best leagues in the world. Houston is the perfect place for me. It will be a great honor and a huge responsibility for me, and I can’t wait to meet the players, technical staff and management and work with such a talented group of professionals,” Alonso said. “I am very confident that we will be able to implement a brave, exciting, dynamic and dominant style of play that can help the Dash build an identity on-and-off the field. I also look forward to connecting with the fans, our community in Houston, and creating something very special. We want to build a team that the city of Houston can be proud of.”

Prior to his time in Scotland, Alonso served as the manager for Lewes FC Women, from the FA Women’s Championship in England, for a season before departing for Celtic FC Women. Alonso spent two years (2016-2018) as an assistant coach with Everton FC under Ronald Koeman in his first year with the club and then Sam Allardyce as the team competed in the men’s English Premier League, where he also was an assistant coach for Everton Ladies. Alonso was the first team technical coach under Maurico Pochettino with Southampton Football Club in the English Premier League from 2012-2014 and under Ronald Koeman from 2014-2016. During that span, the Spanish coach also served as the head coach and the technical director for Southampton Women FC.

The search for Alonso was led by Singer, with input from player, staff, and club leadership. Singer focused on an analytical and data-driven approach to find a candidate with a specific attacking, possession-based game model who put high emphasis on culture and individual player development.

Alonso currently holds a UEFA Pro-License. Additionally, he holds a diploma in Professional Studies in Football Management from the University of Liverpool and Level 1 Psychology certificate from the English FA. Alonso speaks four languages including, German, Italian, English and Spanish. He is the fifth head coach in team history.