LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - James O'Connor is the new head coach of Major League Soccer's Orlando City SC.
O'Connor, who guided Louisville City FC to the USL championship last year, and assistant Daniel Byrd "have agreed to a deal in principle" with Orlando City, according to a news release from Lou City FC.
O'Connor played for Orlando City from 2012-14 when the team played in the USL, and began coaching Lou City in its first season of 2015.
"While we are obviously disappointed to see Coach O'Connor go, we are confident in the short and long-term success of Louisville City FC in our city," LouCity chairman John Neace said. "No one in the USL is doing what we're doing – building a state-of-the-art dedicated soccer stadium, turning out hundreds of fans on the hottest day of the year for a groundbreaking, and winning against MLS opponents in the US Open Cup. We are looking forward to continuing the growth of this club."
In its news release, Lou City noted that the coaching change "will in no way slow or alter construction" of the team's new stadium, expected to be ready for the 2020 season.
O'Connor replaces Bobby Murphy, who had been the interim coach since Orlando City fired head coach Jason Kreis amid the team's six-game losing streak two weeks ago.
In the team's first outing following Kreis' termination, Orlando City beat D.C. United in penalty kicks to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. Its next match in the tournament, in which Lou City FC also remains alive, is July 18. Lou City plays the Chicago Fire on the same day. There is a potential for Lou City and Orlando City to meet.