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‘I love the role of the underdog’: Up close with Houston Dash head coach Fran Alonso

Exclusive: The Equalizer spent the morning inside the Houston Dash’s training session to catch up with new head coach Fran Alonso.

Fran Alonso | Courtesy of the Houston Dash

The guitar came first. Before Houston Dash head coach Fran Alonso had even arrived in Houston, Texas, his six-stringed instrument of choice was waiting for him. Having been shipped over to the club from Glasgow, Scotland.

Why? Well, the Spaniard is learning to play flamenco. His trusty guitar couldn’t be left behind. It’s also a tool for discovering artistic inspiration away from soccer, which is an important part of his life. Just as major notes bleed into minor chords, so too can art turn into soccer.

“I have a few hobbies. You’ve got to have them,” Alonso told The Equalizer, on a sunny and warm early spring day at the Dash’s training facility, Houston Sports Park.

“One of them is graphic design. I really like Photoshop. I’m a very creative person and I like that sort of thought. And it’s the same with guitar. I always wanted to learn flamenco, so I started watching YouTube. I wouldn’t say I’m good at it, but I use it as much as I can in football. Hopefully, during the season, you will see what I mean, in terms of how I like the players to spread themselves out and create. I like expressions of art. Which football is one of them, right?”

Even though he was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Alonso admits that he didn’t grow up loving flamenco. It’s something that he has become more passionate about the longer he has been away from home.

“When I left Spain, suddenly with everything that was Spanish, I felt a kind of pride. Flamenco was something that made me proud about the country. I started to like it more when I first left for England,” he added.

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