Head Coach & Sporting Director
John Harkes comes to Greenville having most recently served as Head Coach and Director of Football for FC Cincinnati. During his time in Cincinnati, he led the club to a 16-6-8 record – good for third in the league among 29 teams and a playoff bid in the organization’s inaugural season. Harkes was a finalist for Coach of the Year honors after the 2016 season.
Prior to taking the helm in Cincinnati, the Kearny, New Jersey, native served as a member of Bruce Arena’s coaching staff with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS). Harkes has held coaching and technical director positions at the national and MLS academy youth levels, including the U.S. U-20 Youth National Team and as technical director for D.C. United's youth academy.
Harkes played soccer at the University of Virginia from 1985 to 1987 under his future D.C. United head coach Bruce Arena. He was named the MAC Hermann Player of the Year in 1987 and elected to forgo his senior year to play full time for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 1988. With the National Team, Harkes earned 90 caps (89 starts), competed in two FIFA World Cups (1990, 1994), the 1988 Olympics and served as team captain from 1995-1998.
Following a historic career in Europe as the first American to compete in the English Premier League, Harkes returned to the U.S. to compete in MLS and provide star power for the new league’s inaugural season. He went on to win two MLS Cup titles with D.C. United (captaining both squads), two Open Cup titles (one as D.C. United’s captain and one with the Columbus Crew) and six MLS All-Star selections.
Upon retiring from play, Harkes embarked on a broadcasting career in which he served as the lead analyst for ESPN’s MLS coverage as well as the network’s coverage of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups. He most recently served as an on-air personality and host for SiriusXM FC and an analyst for the channel’s coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.