AUSTIN, Texas – Austin FC, the 27th Club in Major League Soccer (MLS), announced today that Nolan Sheldon and Rodrigo Rios will join the Club as Assistant Coaches. Sheldon and Rios will work with Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff and fellow Assistant Coach Davy Arnaud as part of Austin FC’s technical staff.
Sheldon, originally from Moatsville, WV, joins Austin FC from D.C. United where he spent ten (10) years (2010 – 2020), most recently serving as first team Assistant Coach from 2016 – 2020, part of the team that made the MLS Playoffs in 2016, 2018 and 2019. His soccer career started at IMG Soccer Academy as a youth player, after which he played college soccer at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina in the 2005 and 2006 seasons, graduating in 2008 with a BA in Psychology, with a minor in Spanish.
In 2010, Sheldon joined D.C. United after three (3) years as a staff coach for IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Florida (2007 – 2010), first serving as an Assistant Coach for D.C. United's U16 Development Academy team during the 2010-2011 season. In 2012, he was named the U18 Developmental Academy Head Coach, progressing to the role of Academy Director from 2014 - 2016. At the end of the 2016 MLS season, Sheldon became a first team Assistant Coach, a role he held until he joined Austin FC in November, 2020. Sheldon’s coaching credentials include the Elite Formation Coaching License (French Football Federation / MLS) (2014), The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Academy Director’s Course (2016) and the USSF Pro License (2019).
Rios, a native of Chile, moves to Austin FC from Atlanta United where he was part of the coaching staff with Atlanta United’s Academy from 2016, Head Coach of the Atlanta United U19 team from 2017 -2020, as well as playing a supporting role with Gerardo Matino’s first team from 2017 – 2018. Rios, a Sports Business Administration graduate of Universidad Mayor in Chile (2004), enjoyed a long playing career, starting as a protégée in the academy at renowned Chilean club Universidad Católica under Manuel Pellegrini, making appearances for his national team at the U20 and U23 levels.
Rios moved to Atlanta in 2005 to play for the United Soccer League’s (USL) Atlanta Silverbacks (2005-2008) and went on to become the club’s Director of Soccer in 2010 when it entered the North American Soccer League (NASL). In addition, he coached youth soccer at Norcross Soccer Academy and continued with the United Football Academy. He was awarded "Coach of the year" for the state of Georgia in 2013 and holds both USSF A and B licenses, gained in 2013 and 2012 respectively.
“Nolan and Rodrigo are excellent additions to our first team coaching staff, bringing MLS and international experience, as well as proven abilities to develop youth talent through academy programs and into MLS first teams,” commented Josh Wolff, Austin FC Head Coach. “I’m excited to start working with Nolan and Rodrigo, and I know they are highly motivated to join Austin FC and to move to our home city.”
“I’m excited about the opportunity to move to Austin FC and want to thank Josh and Claudio for making it possible,” said Nolan Sheldon. “I enjoyed my time with D.C. United immensely, and want to thank everyone at D.C. for their help, support and good wishes. My focus is very firmly on Austin FC and helping my new Club achieve the ambitious goals our Ownership, and the whole community in Austin, have set for Austin FC.”
“Moving to Austin FC is a huge opportunity for my family and I, and I want to thank Claudio Reyna, Josh Wolff and Austin FC’s Ownership team for inviting me to be part of this exciting new MLS team,” added Rodrigo Rios. “I learned a lot at Atlanta United, and I am extremely grateful to everyone in Atlanta for so many good memories from my time there, but now I am looking forward to starting a new challenge in Austin, and I cannot wait to start work.”