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Arizona hires Becca Moros as new head soccer coach

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WPS: JUN 13 Red Stars at Freedom
Becca Moros playing for the Washington Freedom in 2009
Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats have hired Becca Moros as their new head soccer coach, the school announced Wednesday.

Moros, 36, had been an assistant coach for the NWSL’s NJ/NY Gotham FC—formerly known as Sky Blue FC—for the past two seasons.

The New York native was an All-American midfielder and team captain at Duke from 2003 to 2006 and went on to play professionally until 2019, including stints with NWSL clubs such as the Houston Dash, Portland Thorns, FC Kansas City and, most recently, the Utah Royals. Moros also played professionally for two seasons in Japan and was a member of the U-21 U.S. National Team in 2006.

“I am extremely excited to join the University of Arizona family as the next head coach of our soccer team,” Moros said in a statement. “I’m grateful to Dave Heeke and Brent Blaylock for this incredible opportunity and I look forward to continuing and building on the tradition of excellence in the Pac-12. I’m honored to lead such an outstanding group of women through the challenges ahead of us and I will leave everything on the field every day to ensure these women will be the best they can be both on the field and in the classroom. Together we are going to build something special that we will be proud of.”

Moros has the tall task of replacing former UA head coach Tony Amato, who was hired away by Florida in May after compiling an 88-53-17 record and five NCAA Tournament appearances in eight seasons, by far the most successful run in Arizona soccer history.

Moros is the youngest head coach in the Pac-12 and won’t have much time to get acclimated as the 2021 college soccer season begins in August and players usually report to campus for summer workouts in early July.

One of Moros’ first tasks will be recruiting the current players and incoming recruits to stay in the program. Four players had entered the transfer portal before Amato was hired away, while three of the four seniors—defender Sabrina Enciso and forwards Hannah Clifford and Jill Aguilera—had indicated that they planned to return for another season.

Jada Talley, Arizona’s leading assister and second-leading scorer, is still weighing pro options.

“The Wildcat Family is tremendously excited to welcome Becca Moros as our new head coach of Arizona Soccer,” UA athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “With high-level playing experience as a student-athlete and a professional, Becca began her coaching career on a foundation of athletic excellence. Her time as a member of the Gotham FC coaching staff in the National Women’s Soccer League quickly raised her profile as an exceptional coach, mentor and leader. I look forward to seeing Arizona Soccer continue its outstanding success on the pitch, in the classroom and in the community under her leadership.”

They said it

Gotham FC general manager Alysa LaHue: “This is an incredible opportunity for Becca and our club is wholeheartedly behind this great next step, She’s been a tremendous part of our club’s growth over the last two seasons and we’re very grateful for that. Obviously the timing makes it quite bittersweet, but we’ll be cheering her on and supporting her awesome journey.”

Gotham FC head coach Freya Coombe: “We are happy for Becca and the opportunity she’ll now have to run her own program. We especially thank her for all her work during her time here at Gotham FC.”