Late last year, Daryl Shore completed the 12-month process of being licensed by U.S. Soccer as a coach at the highest professional level.
He looked around at some of the other people in his graduating class and saw Major League Soccer head coaches and assistant coaches and decided on a course for his immediate future.
He wanted to be a head coach again.
It just so happened that old friend Peter Wilt was starting a pro team in Madison and was in the market for someone with a lot of coaching experience and a strong network for player recruitment.
On Thursday, it all came together when Shore was named the first head coach and technical director for the Madison Pro Soccer team starting play next spring.
“Everybody has aspirations of being in MLS, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that, sure, I’d love to be the head man of an MLS team,” Shore said. “But not everybody can be. And an opportunity to work with Peter again, ... this is something that I felt like I need to be a part of.”
Shore, 48, most recently was an assistant coach with Miami FC 2 in the amateur National Premier Soccer League. He also spent parts of four seasons as an assistant coach of MLS team Real Salt Lake, including a brief stint as interim head coach in March 2017.
His ties to Wilt, the managing director who’s orchestrating the creation of the Madison team that’ll compete in the third-division pro USL League One, go back to 2000. That’s when Shore started a 10-year stint as an assistant with the MLS’ Chicago Fire while Wilt was the team’s general manager.
Wilt said he had serious interest from about two dozen coaches in the Madison job but quickly narrowed the field to Shore and another candidate. Because Wilt will have a multitude of roles with the team, he needed someone to put completely in charge of player personnel.
Shore was his guy.
“At least half the battle is getting good players,” Wilt said. “And I’m confident that he’ll be able to do that.”
Shore, who has worked with former U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley, current interim coach Dave Sarachan and former Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio, has been a head coach with lower-division teams New Orleans, Lehigh Valley and Fort Lauderdale.
Shore has a one-year contract with a team option. He’ll have two assistant coaches and a team operations manager on his technical staff.
The as-yet-unnamed team will have around 22 players on its roster, and Wilt said the team hopes to have roughly half of them signed by the end of 2018.
The inaugural season of USL League One, which recently was rebranded from USL Division III, is scheduled to start in March.
The Madison team also could get some players from MLS side Minnesota United if the teams can finalize an affiliation agreement. After Pro Soccer USA reported Thursday that the teams were in advanced negotiations, Wilt said he’s “cautiously optimistic we’ll get it done, but it’s not there yet.”
Putting a team together from scratch is daunting at some level, Shore said, but it’s more of a challenge.
“To be able to do this with Peter and use our resources, I think we’re going to be able to find a lot of players that are going to want to come not just play for me and for Peter, but Madison’s got a lot to offer.”
The Madison team, which will play at Breese Stevens Field, will in the coming months unveil the team name that was chosen in part through a vote on the team’s website. Forward Madison FC and AFC Madison were the finalists.