Aaran Lines has resigned as head coach of the Western New York Flash after seven seasons, including the last three in NWSL. The Flash have missed the playoffs the last two seasons and have been in a massive rebuild that has seen every player from the 2014 roster leave. Lines’ resignation was reported by Jeff DiVeronica of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
Lines he was stepping down from the coaching position in order to focus more on the club’s youth initiatives and to spend more time with his family. Lines’s exact position going forward is not known.
Lines was wildly successful early on leading the Flash to finals in his first five seasons. The then Buffalo Flash reached the USL W-League final in 2009 and then won that league in 2010. They made the jump to WPS in 2011 and won that league as the Western New York Flash behind a star-studded roster that included Marta, Christine Sinclair and rookie Alex Morgan. After WPS folded, the Flash captured WPSL Elite in 2012 and then won the Shield in 2013, the debut season of NWSL. The Thorns upset the Flash in the 2013 NWSL Championship at Sahlen’s Stadium and the club has not been back to the playoffs since.
As part of a roster makeover after the 2014 season the Flash traded Carli Lloyd to the Houston Dash. Lloyd said nothing at the time, but when the Dash went to Rochester last season she publicly lambasted Lines for his handling of the trade and said she had no plans to speak to him. The remainder of the 2014 roster eventually left leaving the Flash with a talented but young roster, and as of today no head coach.
Lines told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that the decision to step down is “100 percent” his.
“I’m excited about a new coach coming in and implementing new ideas,” Lines told the Democrat and Chronicle. “We’ve been successful during my seven years and that’s a long time in futbol, it’s an eternity in futbol really. It’s time for someone else to come in. This is part of the evolution of this club.”
The Flash are owned by Joe Sahlen, who is Lines’ father-in-law. The team president is Alex Sahlen, Lines’ wife.
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