The Charleston Battery announced Wednesday the unveiling of the team’s complete coaching staff that will join Head Coach Conor Casey on the sideline this season. In the unit are Dennis Sanchez and Chris Duvall as assistant coaches, Brian Jones as goalkeeper coach and Hanna Gardner as the head of sports science and performance.
“I’m so excited to have this staff to help the club,” said Coach Casey. “We have a great, diverse group of people in their skill sets. I feel so fortunate to have them join me, both as coaches and as people, to help create this culture and drive this team forward.”
Sanchez arrives in Charleston after previously being head of the Sacramento Republic FC academy the last two seasons.
There, he led the U14 and U17 squads as head coach and served as an assistant coach for the senior team. Sanchez helped 15 academy players make their professional debuts at Sacramento from 2020 to 2021. Prior to joining the Republic, Sanchez tenured as the academy general manager for the Columbus Crew from 2016 to 2020 and has gained coaching experience at the professional and collegiate level, in the U.S. and abroad.
Duvall joins the Battery’s technical staff following an eight-year playing career as a defender in Major League Soccer, notably with New York Red Bulls and Montréal Impact.
Duvall acquired silverware via winning the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2015 with New York and the MLS is Back Tournament in 2020 with the Portland Timbers. Before going pro, the Georgia native played collegiately at Wake Forest from 2010 to 2013. The assistant role with the Battery marks Duvall’s debut into coaching as he brings a valued perspective to the staff as a recent former player.
Jones joins the Black and Yellow with a wealth of goalkeeping knowledge as both a player and a coach.
A St. Louis native, Jones played professionally for Sint-Niklaas in Belgium, Olivais-Moscavide in Portugal, and the Kansas City Wizards of MLS. Following his playing career, Jones coached seven years at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) as the goalkeeper coach and eventually co-head coach. With the Cougars, Jones mentored keeper John Berner to two conference goalkeeper of the year awards and a 35th overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Following his time with SIUE, Jones served as the goalkeeper coach for USL Championship side St. Louis FC from 2015 to 2020.
Gardner arrives in Charleston to direct the squad’s sports performance, encompassing strength and conditioning, nutrition, injury prevention, and fitness.
Prior to the Battery, Gardner served as the high performance coach for the Kansas City Current of the NWSL in their inaugural season. Following her arrival midway through the season, the club saw a drastic reduction in the number of unavailable athletes from non-contact injuries. Gardner also worked with North Carolina FC as a sports data analyst for the first team and head coach in their youth sector from 2019 to 2021. Gardner played collegiately at UNC-Chapel Hill where she helped the Tar Heels win the national championship in 2012 and later earned her master’s degree in kinesiology from UNC-Greensboro.
The coaching staff will continue to prepare the team ahead of the 2022 preseason and the Breeze Airways™ Carolina Challenge Cup, slated for February 12-19. Additional roster moves will be forthcoming as the organization continues to assess and evaluate potential players.
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