Soccer: Ex-UA assistant Galas returns to Oregon roots

2013-02-04T00:00:00Z Soccer: Ex-UA assistant Galas returns to Oregon rootsDave Ord Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Boomerangs, salmon, swallows to San Juan Capistrano - you get the drift.

For the Portland Timbers' new performance analyst John Galas, the migrations have taken him to Arizona, Florida and even as far away as Liverpool, England.

But he's always returned to Oregon.

"It's home," Galas said. "It's where we've always wanted to lay some roots again. I think as a coach and somebody in this industry, you chase the work a little bit, and you have to, and you get experience."

Those chases began with a journey halfway around the globe. After graduating from Oregon in 1997, he continued his education at the University of Liverpool. There, he worked with English soccer power Liverpool FC while earning a master's degree in football industries.

Then he got industrious.

He was an assistant coach for the women's teams at Florida State and then Oregon. Galas followed that up with his first stint with the Timbers. He was an assistant coach and director of operations in 2006 when the team was in the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

But then he took flight again. This time, it was a four-year spell as an assistant coach for the Arizona Wildcats women's team. He arrived in town in 2007 and focused on mentoring the goalkeepers. During the last half of the 2009 season, he was a co-interim head coach when Dan Tobias resigned.

He left the program after the 2010 season, moving a few miles north to Casa Grande to became a coach at the Real Salt Lake Arizona Academy before rejoining the Timbers this year.

"The thing that really helped me evolve as a coach was the last two years with the Real Salt Lake Academy residential program in Casa Grande," Galas said.

His latest return to Oregon will no doubt keep him busy. In addition to being the Timbers' performance analyst, Galas will be an assistant coach for Thorns FC, Portland's entry in the inaugural season of the National Women's Soccer League.

"It'll be a study workflow, for sure," Galas said after Portland's MLS Desert Friendly match against Sporting Kansas City at Kino Sports Complex on Friday night. "There will definitely be some overlap between the two roles."

He said his workload with the Timbers will include "some scouting, tracking players. Definitely looking at trends in the league in terms of scoring, defending. Also, helping prepare scouting reports on the opposition and looking at their trends and strengths and weakness. Anything that could potentially give us an advantage."

Even as busy as he is, he checks to see what's going on with the UA program.

"There's players that are still there that I recruited, and I know they've had a turnover in the coaching staff this year," Galas said.

Turnover is one thing he's familiar with.

Up next

• What: MLS Desert Friendly

• Who: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC

• When: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday

• Where: Kino Sports Complex North Field No.5

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