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FC Dallas Head Coach Nico Estevez Finalizes Coaching Staff

Peter Luccin and Drew Keeshan stay on board while Estevez welcomes new faces to the Dallas bench.

The 2022 season is slowly taking shape in Frisco as we wrap up the 2021 calendar year. Today, the club has announced the new coaching staff that will join new manager Nico Estevez.

The staff will see the addition of two new coaches as well as a new performance coach. Javier Cabello and Ben Cross join Peter Luccin and Drew Keeshan as assistant coaches while Miguel Villagrasa comes to FC Dallas as Head of Performance.

“Drew and Peter are invaluable to FC Dallas,” said Estevez in a club issued press release. “They have a thorough understanding of this organization and the league. Their expertise and technical knowledge will be critical to developing a winning culture. I am thrilled to start working with our staff as we make our preparations for next year.”

Luccin enters his fourth season with FC Dallas as an assistant coach, he also spend a couple of seasons as a player with the club before that. Keeshan enters his 15th season as the club’s goalkeeping coach.

The three newcomers all come with different backgrounds, but each should add some new excitement to the team as well as a long history of player development.

“The experience and talent Javi, Ben and Miguel have are unmatched,” said Estévez. “They understand the commitment required to be successful at the highest levels of the game. They will make an impact on our team immediately as we build our roster and open preseason training on January 16.”

The 47-year old Cabello comes to FC Dallas from La Liga’s Deportivo Alavés where he has served as an assistant coach since 2017. He began his La Liga career in the late 1990s in Villarreal CF’s academy, where he moved up the ranks from coordinator to head of scouting until 2008. From 2008-2010, he was the Head Academy Director for La Liga’s Valencia CF. Cabello also had head coaching stints at CD Cieza (2000-2004), CD Castellón (2011-2012), Cultural Deportiva Leonesa (2014-2015) and was the technical director at Elche CF (2015).

Cross joins FC Dallas after four seasons of working with the Columbus Crew. The 39-year old was an assistant coach and video analyst from the Columbus Crew after four seasons as a first team assistant coach for the 2020 MLS Cup and 2021 Campeones Cup Champions. He previously also served as the Crew Academy’s U-17/18 and U-19 Head Coach and was named the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Central Conference Coach of the Year at the U-18/19 level in 2018. He holds a USSF A License, MLS Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) and NSCAA Advanced National Diploma. He will work with current video analyst Fredy Herrera who is in his fifth season with FC Dallas.

Villagrasa, 51, brings 25 years of experience to the role of Head of Performance. He spent 23 years working for as a physical trainer and high-performance coach for Valencia CF, starting in its academy in 1996 before moving to the first team in 2005. He also had stints in RC Celta (2019) and Elche CF (2021). Villagrasa graduated from the University of Valencia with a degree in Physical Education with a concentration in High-Performance Soccer and High-Performance Swimming and a master’s degree in High-Performance Sports. He also holds a master’s degree in Readaptation of Injuries in High-Performance Soccer from the UCAM San Antonio de Murcia Catholic University. He will oversee a staff of two that includes Assistant Performance Coach Ardy Vahidtari as well as Fitness and Rehabilitation Coach Sergio Gonzalez.