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RSL Unveils 2024 Coaching Staff

HERRIMAN, UTAH (Tuesday, January 16, 2024) – Real Salt Lake Sporting Director Kurt Schmid today unveiled the Club’s first-team Technical Staff – under the guidance of Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni, who returns for his fourth year with RSL and his third full season as field boss – with the Utah side kicking off its 2024 preseason Tuesday. Prior to RSL officially opening its 20th Major League Soccer campaign on Wed., Feb. 21 at Inter Miami CF against Lionel Messi & Co., the Utah side will see Mastroeni and new assistant coaches Nate Miller, Anthony Pulis and Jamison Olave, along with goalkeeper coach Mirza Hirambasic and performance coach Sean Buckley, direct 37 players for preseason – including 32 returning from last year – as RSL opens 2024 looking for a fourth consecutive MLS postseason berth, and its sixth in the last seven years.

“We are excited to welcome Nate, Anthony and Sean into our Club, and are also very pleased to bring Jamison and Mirza into the MLS environment,” said Schmid, who was named RSL’s interim Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director last month, after serving as the Club’s Technical Director since early in the 2021 season.

“A thorough and exhaustive process conducted by Pablo and myself in conjunction with Ownership, (Asst. GM) Tony Beltran, (Club President) John Kimball, (newly-arrived Director) Jason Kreis and myself allowed us to identify these people and ultimately land on assembling this group, whom we believe will enable our Club to embody our collective ethos of winning together through development.

“RSL’s main goals always revolve around securing hardware and rewarding our fans with a winning product each week, at every level, and ultimately, championships. An equally important mandate for us is to develop players, coaches, and staff in their journey, helping young adults become outstanding players and responsible citizens.

“Nate, Anthony, Jamison, and Mirza are excellent teachers who will challenge the locker room and each other, and we expect that they will help take us to new and higher levels. Along with Sean, we’re proud of this staff’s growth mindset, the positivity and focus they bring each day, and we look forward to their work with both individual players and the collective group.”

A glut of prior head coaching experience joins Mastroeni’s 2024 staff, as Miller (USL San Diego Loyal (2023), Pulis (USL Miami FC 2022/23, USL St. Louis 2018/19, Orlando City B 2016/17) and Olave (USL/MLS NEXT Pro Real Monarchs 2018/23) have each guided USSF Division II and/or Division III sanctioned organizations.

Mastroeni’s new staff boasts a diversity of life experience, the group living, playing and coaching all over the world. Miller was born in Israel and raised in Kenya before moving to the U.S., while Pulis has called the U.K. and the U.S. home. Olave is a native of Colombia, Harambasic was born in Bosnia, while Buckley has spent nearly half his life coaching in Mexico. With 23 different nationalities represented on the RSL / Monarchs 2024 rosters, the unique perspectives gained from experiencing numerous cultures are extraordinarily valued.

Several technical staff members return from recent seasons, including the Club’s Senior Director of Athlete Health and Performance, Theron Enns, ATC; athletic training staffers Jacob Joachim and Luke Cantin; Video Analysts Rob Rogers and Joel DeLass; and equipment managers Randall Butts and Benjamin Chavez.


Nate Miller arrives in Utah following four seasons with the USL San Diego Loyal, serving as an assistant coach for the expansion side from 2020-22 before ultimately succeeding American soccer icon Landon Donovan as the Loyal Head Coach, leading San Diego to a 16W-9L-9T record, third place in the West, and advancing to last year’s USL Championship Quarterfinals. 

The 37-year-old Miller was born in Jerusalem, Israel, before moving to Kenya when he was 7 and arriving in Mechanicsburg, Penn., as a 13-year-old. Miller attended Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where he was a four-year starting midfielder from 2004–08, selected to the Mid-Central College Conference (MCC) All-Conference team in 2005 and 2006 and to the All-Region team in 2007. Miller served as captain of the Trojan soccer team his senior year. 

Miller served as head coach of the Spring Arbor University men's soccer team from 2013–2018, posting an overall record of 82W-33L-14T. He also served as the head coach and general manager for Lansing United, a former member of the Premier Development League now known as USL League Two, from 2015–2018. Under Miller’s guidance in 2018, Spring Arbor had one of the best seasons in program history, leading to Miller becoming the conference coach of the year. Miller's record with Lansing United was 20W–13L–12T.

In November 2018, Miller was named head coach of USL League One expansion side Lansing Ignite FC. Miller led the side to a 2nd place reg. season finish in USL League One, however, the team lost in the playoff semifinals to Greenville Triumph SC. In total, Miller led Lansing to 13W–8L–10T season. On January 8, 2020, it was announced that Miller would join Landon Donovan's staff as associate head coach with San Diego Loyal in preparation for the team's inaugural season in the USL Championship.

“My four years in San Diego were awesome, we enjoyed a lot of success, it was such an amazing experience. Obviously, the very sad news of the Loyal folding had a long lead-up time, left us a lot of time to consider next steps.

“I’ve always heard amazing things about Pablo (Mastroeni); now I am here, working for a manager I’ve long respected and a Club that I’ve always admired from a developmental standpoint. Observing and now experiencing a bit of what the culture of this Club would be like, I made the decision to move here.

“As a new staff coming together, we have a clarity of roles as we come together to implement Pablo’s vision and build a team reflecting Pablo’s personality. We will establish a clear playing identity on the field, continue to create an elite culture off it while ensuring we keep that Club ethos of winning and development at the core of our actions.”

Anthony Pulis arrives on the Wasatch Front with nearly 200 games experience as a head coach with various domestic sides. Pulis – who previously worked with both Schmid and Kreis at Inter Miami CF with both the first- and second-teams – is an English-born Welsh youth international who grew up in the shadow of an U.K. managerial legend – father Tony Pulis. 

Following a 10-year playing career in England that saw Pulis represent Portsmouth, Stoke City, Torquay United, Plymouth Argyle, Grimsby Town, Bristol Rovers, Southampton, Lincoln City, Stockport County, Barnet and Aldershot Town, Anthony concluded his playing career in the U.S. at Orlando City during that club’s USL days, Pulis moving into the coaching ranks full-time after three years as a player/coach in Orlando.

The 39-year-old Pulis brings both domestic and international experience to Utah, winning two USL Pro regular-season titles and the league championship in 2013 at Orlando, later commencing his coaching career with Orlando City during the club’s MLS expansion season in 2015 as an Assistant Coach before taking the Head Coach position with USL side OCB in 2016. Prior to joining Inter Miami’s coaching staff in 2020 working with both Diego Alonso and Phil Neville, Pulis was the head coach of Saint Louis FC in the USL Championship for two-plus seasons. At Saint Louis in 2019, the Pulis-led team made a deep Open Cup run, with “Cupsets” against MLS sides Chicago and Cincinnati en route to the Quarterfinal stage, a year after guiding STL to its first-ever postseason.

Pulis joined Miami FC in late 2021 and made an immediate impact. His leadership and strategic approach allowed the team to reach the playoffs in his first year during the 2022 season. That same season, the team also tied for most shutouts in the league, with 17 under their belt, along with having won five straight games on the road, matching the longest road win streak in the USL-C that season. Additionally, the 2022 squad tied New Mexico United for second-most goals during a single game, with a seven-goal game.

“First and foremost, Pablo Mastroeni is first-class, a good human being, the type of person you want to work with and for, with strong values in every aspect of his life. Coming here with the experience I’ve had in Miami with Kurt and Jason, there’s already an understanding of how things tick, which helps us in getting everyone on same page culturally.

“From the outside, RSL has long been a top-class organization. My only previous visit here was with Saint Louis back in 2018, coaching against the Monarchs. I remember just being absolutely blown away by the facility – no doubt the biggest and best soccer-specific training facility in the U.S.

“Being in the States now for 11-12 years, I’m aware of history here of developing world-class players – that’s our emphasis. Our jobs are two-fold – improve every player and prepare the TEAM to win next game – those things go hand in hand, regardless of age – 17, 22, 27, 35 – the onus is on us to improve each individual in all aspects of the game.

“We will put process in place – organization, structure, clarity of purpose, built on collaboration with a spirit of positive challenges – those are the things that we control. Developing players, establishing a style of play, creating a way of work with a player-centric approach. We are here to serve the players, make them the best they can be, but its always about a TEAM framework, over the individual.” 

Jamison Olave moves down the Zions Bank Training Center hallway into the first-team space after seven years with Real Monarchs SLC, the Club’s MLS NEXT Pro (2022/23) and USL Championship (2015-21) side. After starting his coaching career as an assistant for the Monarchs in 2017 – winning the reg. season shield that year – Olave was the interim head coach for the Monarchs in 2019, winning the USL Championship Final in Louisville.

Since winning that title, Olave has led the Monarchs for 100 games in the two leagues, utilizing 124 different players, many of whom matriculated from the Club’s Utah academy and/or made their professional debuts as a Monarchs player.

Olave’s coaching pedigree and extensive knowledge of the game coupled with his success as a leader during the club’s Championship Title run makes him the right fit for the team and our overall development ladder. All of us in the organization have full faith that Jamison will execute growth initiatives of the club using the integration between Real Salt Lake and the RSL Academy while continuing the on-field success within the USL Championship.

Olave took the reins of the Monarchs as Interim Head Coach on July 1, 2019, leading the team to a 10-4-5 (35 points) record during the last 19 matches of the 2019 regular season to enter the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The Colombian then led the Monarchs through an immaculate playoff run which culminated with the USL Championship Title where it topped reigning back-to-back champion Louisville City FC. Prior to the Championship Final, the Monarchs topped Orange County SC before knocking off top-seeded Phoenix Rising FC ahead of claiming the Western Conference crown over El Paso to book its ticket to the Final.

In his first stint as Interim Head Coach of the Monarchs, Olave led the team to an 11-12-2 (35 points) record across 25 regular season matches as the team finished as the fourth seed in the West before bowing out of the USL Championship Playoffs in the opening round.

A legendary player for RSL during the Club’s perennial MLS Cup, Open Cup and Champions League Final runs, Olave featured for RSL at centerback from 2008-2012 and 2015-16, totaling 159 appearances during the regular season, including 157 starts. The rugged defender totaled 13,654 regular season minutes and scored 13 goals during his time with the Utah side, named MLS Defender of the Year in 2010 and to the MLS Best XI in 2010 and 2011. He also played an integral role on the backline for RSL during the club’s 2009 MLS Cup championship run.

“After being with the RSL family for so so long – more than 15 years now – playing and then coaching, I’m excited to get to the first team as a coach. The opportunity is there for me to grow, and I’m sure it will be a very smooth transition – these are great people and great coaches, all of us will always do our best for the Club. 

“RSL does a great job of having guys playing up and down with the Monarchs, with our first team, in league games, Open Cup, Leagues Cup – they all know they have to perform and give the Club everything they have. I can explain to the players how things work, and let them know how to best take advantage of opportunities to be the best they can be and grow as people and as players.

“I have relationships with guys at every level, so this will be fun and I am very appreciative of Pablo. Making this move with Mirza really means a lot as well – he’s done such a fantastic job with both the Academy and Monarchs. Just look at the quality of ‘keepers we have; they are all a reflection of him and his work. I’m very proud of him, he is a big reason why we have great alignment between the first team and the Academy.

“Nate (Miller) and Anthony (Pulis) will bring a detailed approach and a depth of head coaching experience. We all have a renewed energy to advance RSL’s style of play, our identity. We are all very dedicated to the craft, hard-working, but not just happy to be here. I cannot wait for our fans see how this team gives everything they have on the field. As we’ve seen in past with Pablo’s teams we will never give up, there will be quality on the field, a ton of fight, our locker room will consist of guys who play for each other and for the shield.”

Another internal Club promotion sees Mirza Harambasic join Olave in moving from the Monarchs to the first-team room, as the Bosnian-born goalkeeping coach – who just received his UEFA B license late last year, on top of his previously-received USSF A license – has helped developed current RSL backup and U.S. U-18 starlet Gavin Beavers, as well as the recent pipeline of outstanding RSL Academy stars between the pipes – Fernando Delgado (Real Monarchs), Blake Kelly, Christian Olivares, Jeff Dewsnup, David Ochoa, et al. Harambasic has consistently worked with various United States Youth National Teams, including the recent U17s preparations for last year’s Youth World Cup.

Harambasic arrived in Utah in 2019 as the RSL Academy goalkeeping coach, before moving to the Monarchs in 2020.  Prior to his role with the Academy, Harambasic was the Head Coach and Goalkeeper Coach of Oakwood Soccer Club in Connecticut from 2016 – 18, and the Assistant Coach at the Univ. of Hartford from 2015 – 18. A Bosnian native, Harambasic played college soccer in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he won All-Region as a goalkeeper at Davenport University. Simultaneously with his Oakwood experience, Harambasic spent three seasons as a member of the University of Hartford men’s soccer coaching staff in 2017. 

As a player, Harambasic tended the goal at Davenport for two seasons in 2012 and 2013. A Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) All-Conference First Team selection in 2013, he also earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Region First Team accolades that season.   

As a senior in 2013, Harambasic led Davenport to a school-record 19 wins, including a perfect 10-0 record during the WHAC slate. During conference play, the Panthers conceded just six goals with Harambasic anchoring the defense, and did not allow more than a single goal in any of their matches. Between the pipes, he posted a goals-against average of 1.26 and had 70 saves.

“For me, this move is a culmination of hard work – I’ve long been anxious to get going and coach at this level. I have so many feelings but mostly just gratitude to the Club for believing in me. During my time in Utah, I’ve worn a lot of hats, been involved with every single team. This shows that they value me, and for that I am very thankful. 

“In general, clubs are ever changing – but the RSL identity has always been there, as we’ve always tried to promote from within and the new ownership has opened up the lens with their networks to provide more resources from an expertise & knowledge standpoint.

“I’m excited to coach at the highest level this country has to offer with a guy like Pablo, who is a clear communicator and makes it easy to see how he values each staff member, their thoughts, ideas, experience. He stresses the importance of mentality, and working with that type of person has made this move very easy. 

“Jamison is in a league of his own as a person, and he’s an exceptional guy to work for and with the last four years at the Monarchs – he’s someone I consider a close friend and no one deserves the opportunity more to coach at the highest level.

“When people talk about development, they can sometimes be confused and think its just about growing 14/15- year-old kids. But what should never get lost are the leaps and bounds these guys can make – regardless of age – with growth and development happening every single day.

“I’m so grateful and so in love with this club & community, and I believe they’ll come to see and appreciate the camaraderie of this staff – its already insane and hard to put into words – but the motivation to excel and gratitude to work harder is evident with Pablo, Nate and Anthony in the short time we’ve been together, its inspiring just seeing how detailed and hard-working everyone is.”

Sean Buckley arrives in Utah following two years at Minnesota United FC to continue his MLS pathway on the strength & conditioning track. The Arizona native earned his bachelor’s degree in sports science from Arizona State University in 1994 and his master’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1995. Buckley served as a strength and conditioning coach for Liga MX side Cruz Azul from 1998 to 2004, returning to Cruz Azul as the Club’s performance director from 2008-16. The 52-year-old also spent a year with UNAM Pumas in 2017 before short stints with Lobos BUAP (Mexico), AEK Larnaca (Cyprus) and Mazatlan FC (Mexico) since 2018.

Providing players with experience, knowledge, and expertise is extremely important to him. Sean coached throughout Liga MX and is fluent in Spanish, a critical piece to RSL’s Club culture. Sean will be vital in preparing players for a long and winding season, with both fitness and recovery key while navigating various climates, time zones, surfaces and multiple competitions during the upcoming 11-month season.

Injury prevention, strength training and conditioning for the first team are Buckley’s primary focus, while his knowledge and experience will also be integrated as he helps design programs for both the youth and academy programs. 

“During the interview process, I was very taken by the spirit of collaboration and the Club’s insistence of that in all our efforts. It’s amazing that Pablo wants that level of alignment and collaboration, with no real micromanagement, just a very open and team-oriented approach.

“After spending most of my career in Mexico, watching from afar, RSL was always one of the clubs that stands out – throughout the years there’s been this intangible of spirit – it’s not measurable, there’s no metrics. So when I found out about this opportunity, I had to seize it and I’m very excited to connect with so many great people here at the Club.

“We expect to establish a culture and schedule of constant strength and power training, as a way to reduce the risk of injury and improve explosiveness. The individual development plans for each player based on their fitness needs, combined with us living at altitude and the intense sessions and conditioning for players that need to continue to increase stamina. Obviously, we will make sure players get the recovery they need for a high volume of game minutes.”