(Reuters) - Former Manchester United Women's boss Casey Stoney has been named the first head coach of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) team in San Diego, the expansion club said on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old former England captain previously served as United head coach since 2018 and during her tenure guided the club to immediate promotion to the Women's Super League and successive fourth-place finishes in the top flight.
"Casey is one of the most decorated, distinguished and talented English players of all-time and has transitioned seamlessly in her role as a manager," San Diego President Jill Ellis said in a news release.
"She immediately turned Manchester United Women Football Club into respected contenders and established herself as one of the top managers in the league."
The addition of Stoney completes the hiring of two key technical positions in the club's hierarchy as San Diego named former U.S. Women's National Team Administrator Molly Downtain as general manager earlier this week.
Stoney retired as a player in 2018 having played for clubs including Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool during her 19-year career. She won 130 caps for England and played in three World Cups.
"Jill and this ownership group are deeply committed to building a world-class club both on and off the field and I look forward to being a part of creating our culture and style of play as a team," said Stoney.
"I am eager to begin work immediately ahead of our inaugural year of competition in NWSL next season.”
San Diego will become top-flight NWSL's 12th franchise when they join Los Angeles expansion club Angel City FC for the 2022 season.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)