OAKLAND, Calif. – Oakland Roots SC announced on Thursday it had appointed Juan Guerra as the club’s new Head Coach to lead the team into the 2022 USL Championship season and beyond. Guerra was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and has extensive experience with North American soccer, having competed professionally for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, New York Cosmos and Indy Eleven, and served as an assistant coach at Indy and Phoenix Rising FC.
With Guerra's appointment as Head Coach, Jordan Ferrell - who led the side in the 2021 USL Championship season - will return to his full-time role as the club's Technical Director.
“Oakland when you talk about the fan base, the supporters, the diversity that the city has, the character of their people, they are hard-working and they don't back down, they push forward, they always want to grow and improve so that drives me.” said Guerra. “The opportunity to build something special and different in Oakland is one I wanted to be a part of. The goal is to make this organization one of the top organizations in North America and work together with the players, the staff, the fans and the community to reach that common goal.”
After first playing in the United States with Florida International University, Guerra returned to his home country to play professionally in the Venezuelan top flight with Monagas, Carabobo, Deportivo Lara and Caracas - including a brief loan spell in Spain with Las Palmas. During this time, he also made six appearances for Venezuela’s Men’s National Team.
Guerra returned to the United States to play with the Tampa Bay Rowdies for two seasons before joining the New York Cosmos under fellow Venezuelan Head Coach Gio Savarese, currently the manager of Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers FC. His playing career concluded in the 2018 season for Indy Eleven, which the following year handed him his first coaching opportunity under then-Head Coach Martin Rennie. Most recently Guerra worked alongside Head Coach Rick Schantz at Rising FC during the 2021 USL Championship season.
“We are incredibly excited to bring Juan to Oakland,” said Roots VP of Soccer Eric Yamamoto. “He has a deep knowledge of this league having played and coached in both the East and West and we can’t wait to get started in 2022 with Juan at the helm.”
“We had many ups and downs in 2021 but we are ending the year on an incredible high,” added Roots Chair Steven Aldrich. “Our new coach will lead us into 2022 and help us build the foundation for an even brighter future at Oakland Roots. Juan brings a supreme understanding of the USL and excitement for the Roots' purpose on and off the field.”