MLS / Union

Union hire Vartughian to coach goalies

Rob Vartughian

Philadelphia Union have hired University of Maryland assistant Rob Vartughian as their goalkeepers coach.

Major League Soccer announced on Tuesday night that Vartughian would immediately start work for the Union, with whom he has some strong past ties.

Vartughian worked with Union manager Peter Nowak last year, when he coached goalkeepers on the U.S. U-23 team that went to the 2008 Olympics in China. He also assisted the U-15 national team in 2008 and scouted for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Likewise, the move reunites Vartughian with Maryland alum Chris Seitz, the presumptive starting goalkeeper for the Union. The two worked closely during their tenure at Maryland, where Seitz secured a national title by stopping a penalty kick in a 1-0 win over the University of New Mexico, and it appears they’ll do the same in Chester.

“Rob is the guy Peter targeted for this role from our earliest discussions and waited patiently for, because he believes as I do, that his unique talents for developing young players will benefit our entire program,” Union CEO & Co-Owner Nick Sakiewicz said.

Vartughian is also no stranger to the Delaware Valley, having previously coached goalkeepers at the University of Pennsylvania for two years and played for the USL’s Ocean City Barons and the Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League. He played his college ball at St. Bonaventure and Wake Forest universities, starting in goal for each squad.

This year, his Maryland team was one of the final eight teams left standing in the NCAA tournament won this weekend by the University of Virginia.

What do you think of the hire? Have any stories to share about Vartughian? Comment below.

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