Former New England Revolution midfielder/forward Pat Noonan called it a career on Friday to become an assistant coach of the defending champion Los Angeleas Galaxy.
Noonan, who scored 37 goals in 119 games for the Revolution between 2003 and 2007, helped Los Angeles to its second straight championship in what turned out to be his final season on the field.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity,” Noonan told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “I couldn’t ask for a better situation in terms of starting my coaching career under the most successful head coach in the league, and with Dave [Sarachan] and Curt [Onalfo] as assistants who also have head coaching experience. I’ll be able to learn a lot from all three of them.”
After he was taken in the first round of the 2003 SuperDraft by New England, Noonan partnered up with defending scoring champion Taylor Twellman and gave the club one of the most formidable attacks in the league. His ten goals were a club-high, but finished as a runner up in the Rookie of the Year vote to Fire forward Damani Ralph.
His sophomore season was equally impressive, as he reached double-digits in the goal column (11) for the second straight season and shared the scoring title with Amado Guevara.
Despite impressive early returns, injuries limited his form in later seasons. After helping the Revolution reach their third-straight championship game, the club declined its option on Noonan. He signed with Norwegian side Aalesund in 2008, but he never returned to the goalscoring escapades seen during his first two seasons.
All told, Noonan scored 42 goals in 183 MLS games. He earned 15 caps with the U.S. National Team, and scored his lone international goal in a friendly against Colombia in 2005.
His last professional goal came on Apr. 28, when he scored a stoppage time equalizer in a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas.
“As tough as it is to hang them up, I’m very excited,” Noonan told mlssoccer.com. “The longer I played in this league, the more years’ experience I gained, the more I thought I could add something to the coaching side of things.”
Noonan is the second former Revolution player this offseason to accept a coaching position at the club he retired with. In November, Daniel Hernandez assumed the role of assistant coach with FC Dallas, but was fired shortly thereafter.