Midfielder Juan Guerra announced on Wednesday his retirement from playing and that he would join Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie's staff as an assistant coach. | Photo courtesy Trevor Ruszkowski / Indy Eleven
INDIANAPOLIS – Indy Eleven midfielder Juan Guerra announced his retirement from playing on Wednesday and joined Head Coach Martin Rennie’s coaching staff as an assistant for the 2019 USL Championship season as he began a new phase of his career.
“I’ve always wanted to coach,” Guerra said. “It’s always been in the back of my head that after my playing career that I wanted to coach. I would like to thank Ersal Ozdemir and Martin Rennie for this opportunity,” said Guerra. “This is a fantastic club and I’m looking forward to getting started in my new role with this great group of guys and incredible supporters.”
Guerra played a crucial role in Indy Eleven’s midfield in 2018. In 25 starts, the 31-year-old completed more than 80-percent of his passes, created nine chances, tallied two assists and netted one goal.
“Juan has excellent experience internationally and domestically as a player, and I’m sure he’ll transition very well into being a coach,” said Rennie. “He’s a hard-working, diligent person who will add a lot to our club in his new role.”
RISING FC BRINGS ABOARD AGUINAGA: Phoenix Rising FC announced on Tuesday night it had signed former New York Red Bulls II midfielder Jose Aguinaga for the 2019 USL Championship season.
Aguinaga was selected in the Fourth Round of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls, and was signed by the Red Bulls II for his rookie season. A former USL League Two standout with both Sounders FC U23 and the New York Red Bulls U23s, Aguinaga made 24 appearances for the Red Bulls II in 2018 and scored six goals and six assists.
“I am pleased to join Phoenix Rising in 2019 to pursue trophies with this great club,” said Aguinaga. I look forward to getting to work with my teammates and coaches.”
Aguinaga had previously played at Rider University where he notched 18 goals and 32 assists in 76 appearances. A native of Madrid, Spain, Aguinaga spent his youth career in the Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid, and Getafe CF academy systems.
SACRAMENTO SIGNS STANFORD STANDOUT: Sacramento Republic FC announced on Tuesday the club had signed former Stanford University midfielder Sam Werner for the 2019 USL Championship season with a club option for 2020, pending league and federation approval.
“Sam brings a winning mentality to our team and he has proven that he can step up in big moments,” said Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant. “He causes headaches for opponents and will bring tenacity to our front line.”
Werner joins Republic FC after a collegiate career with Stanford where he won three consecutive NCAA championships from 2015-17. The Bozeman, Montana, native netted nine goals and added nine assists during his four seasons with the Cardinal, including the sudden-death goal in overtime during the 2017 College Cup that crowned the Cardinal champions and made them just the second NCAA men’s team to win three consecutive D1 titles.