Estévez completes coaching staff, Quill departs

As the coaching carousel continues to spin, new FC Dallas Head Coach Nico Estévez has filled up his coaching bench with 3 hires while North Texas SC Head Coach Eric Quill departs the organization to take an assistant coaching gig with the Columbus Crew.

Javier Cabello and Ben Cross join Peter Luccin and Drew Keeshan as assistant coaches under Estévez while Miguel Villagrasa comes to FC Dallas as Head of Performance. 

“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.”

Given his resume, it seems probable that Cabello will be taking a role as Estévez ‘s lead assistant and right-hand man.

Columbus Crew today announced that Eric Quill has been named as an Assistant Coach on Head Coach Caleb Porter’s technical staff. Quill effectively replaced Ezra Hendrickson on the Crew staff after Hendrickson took over the Chicago Fire.

“We are excited to welcome Eric to Columbus,” said Columbus Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Eric is a proven winner with experience coaching at multiple levels of the game, and we believe his skillset as a coach will be great addition to our staff.”

Here are the FC Dallas PR blurbs on each of the new hires.

Javier Cabello

Cabello, 47, 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). He graduated from the University of Valencia with a degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences and Valencia Polytechnic University with a degree in Journalism. 

Ben Cross

Cross, 39, joins Dallas as 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.

Miguel Villagrasa

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. 

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