Head coach Paulo Nagamura is entering his fourth season as the head coach of Sporting Kansas City II in 2021, having served as the assistant coach in the club’s run to the USL Cup Final in 2017. He announced his retirement from professional soccer at the conclusion of the 2016 MLS season with Sporting Kansas City.
He enjoyed a successful first season in coaching, aiding then head coach Nikola Popovic as the Rangers went 17-8-7 on their way to clinching a second consecutive Western Conference Championship.
Nagamura went on to clinch a postseason berth in his first season as a head coach in 2018, posting a 15-11-8 record and advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals before being eliminated by Phoenix Rising FC.
In 2019, Nagamura failed to reach the playoffs with a young Sporting II side that featured the top teenage goalscorer in the country, Wilson Harris, and Felipe Hernandez, who signed a first-team contract during an impressive campaign.
During a shortened 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nagamura led Sporting II to an admirable 5-10-1 record with the most challenging schedule in the league, as the side played 14 of 16 games on the road. Sporting II striker Wilson Harris was named USL Championship Young Player of the Year for the 2020 season and signed a first-team contract at the conclusion of the campaign.
Nagamura, 36, enjoyed a 12-year MLS career that saw him win two MLS Cup championships and three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles. He made 269 appearances in MLS, including 240 starts, recording 15 goals and 21 assists.
In five seasons with Sporting Kansas City, Nagamura tallied seven goals and eight assists in 119 appearances across all competitions. He played a vital role in some of Sporting Kansas City’s biggest moments in club history, converting penalty kicks in shootouts of the 2012 and 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups as well as the 2013 MLS Cup.
A native of Brazil, Nagamura began his youth career with hometown club Sao Paulo FC in 1994 before moving to Arsenal FC of the English Premier League in 2001. He signed for the LA Galaxy in 2005, where he won the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup in his first professional season at the senior level.
After two years in LA, Nagamura continued his MLS journey with Toronto FC (2007) and Chivas USA (2007-2011), becoming an MLS All-Star in 2009. Nagamura and his wife Monique have two children, Alice and Clara.