Replacing a successful head coach isn’t always easy, but owners of the El Paso Locomotive FC feel they’ve found a good fit in Australia’s John Hutchinson.
Hutchinson will take over as the team’s new head coach and technical director as the Locos enter their fourth USL Championship campaign.
“His wealth of professional playing and coaching experience at the highest levels of professional soccer around the world will bring a unique perspective to our community and club,” said Josh Hunt, co-owner and chairman of MountainStar Sports, which owns the team.
Hutchinson’s professional soccer career spans more than 25 years as both a player and on coaching staffs across seven leagues.
The 41-year-old has six years of technical staff experience spanning over five leagues, including abroad in the Japanese and Australian top-flight leagues and in the United States.
Most recently, ahead of the 2020 abbreviated season, Hutchinson returned to the United States as a first team assistant coach with the Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer.
While helping the Sounders to an MLS Cup Final appearance, Hutchinson doubled as a development coach for the extensive Sounders Academy.
“I know that everyone associated with the club wants to win games and silverware and I am no different,” Hutchison said.
“I’m inheriting a team that has done very well in the USL. My job is to add some speed to the play, but I’m fortunate to take over a team that already has a great track record.”
Locomotive General Manager Andrew Forrest said the candidate pool included names from across the globe, and that Hutchinson checked off all the right boxes.
“We thought he was an unbelievable pick and fortunately for us he was available. He’s a coach who is well credentialed and we couldn’t be happier to have him leading our club,” Forrest said.
Several players have signed on for the upcoming USL season, including defenders Matt Bahner, Eder Borelli, Maculey King, Andrew Fox and Yuma; forwards Aaron Gomez and Luis Solignac; and midfielders Richie Ryan, Diego Luna, Louis “Chapa” Herrera, Sebastian Velasquez and Dylan Mares.
Hutchinson said future players on the roster will have to have more than skill on the field.
“What we’re looking for when we bring players in is not just how they fit with our style of play, but how they fit with the community of El Paso,” Hutchinson said. “That’s very important to us.
“I’m an ambitious coach and I preach attacking soccer and a brand of soccer that players and fans can be happy about. We also want to open our door to the local high school soccer coaches to come watch training and we want to go out into the community to see what kind of local talent there is out there.”
Hutchinson has a few personal matters to take care of before he makes the long rek to the Sun City and the start of the 2022 season in March.
“I’m in Australia with my family now but as soon as the holidays are over, I’ll be moving to El Paso to get ready for the season and become part of the community.”
Hutchinson replaces Mark Lowry, who left the club after three seasons to become the head coach of Indy Eleven in the USL Championship soccer league.
In his time with El Paso, Lowry, the club’s first head coach, guided the Locomotive to three consecutive playoff appearances and two Western Conference Finals.