Sources: Pablo Piñones-Arce to assume new technical director role at Houston Dash

The former Hammarby boss is heading to the NWSL as part of a major club infrastructure shift in Texas.

Sources: Pablo Piñones-Arce to assume new technical director role at Houston Dash
Pablo Piñones-Arce as Hammarby head coach in 2023

Alongside Amanda Zaza and SVT Sport in Sweden, I can reveal that Pablo Piñones-Arce is ready to become the technical director of NWSL club the Houston Dash.

After assuming the position of head coach in 2020, the Swede was instrumental in turning Hammarby into a top team in the Damallsvenskan. In 2023, Piñones-Arce led Bajen to a historic league and cup double before shocking many with the news of his resignation at the end of the year.

Since his departure, there has been plenty of speculation about his future. It has now been confirmed that he is ready to take on a new role as technical director at the Texas NWSL club, the first ever in that team’s history.

It is also understood that the Swede has been on the Dash’s radar for vacant staffing positions for some time.

General manager Alex Singer is overseeing a major infrastructural overhaul of the Dash this offseason, with Piñones-Arce’s new role being one of several that she has carved out this year. In December, Houston announced Spaniard Fran Alonso as its new head coach.

READ MORE: Houston Dash to hire Fran Alonso as new head coach

The Dash have not responded to any comment at this time on Piñones-Arce’s hire, and the official announcement of his appointment is expected in the coming weeks.

Who is Piñones-Arce?

The 42-year-old from Botkyrka was a former professional footballer in the top Swedish, Italian, and Danish leagues. He notched seven appearances and scored one goal for the Swedish U21s, but never made a senior international cap.

Piñones-Arce’s most notable moments as a player came over two spells with Hammarby. Between 2001 and 2006, and then 2014-2015, he made over 150 appearances and scored 30 goals for the Green and Whites. The forward lifted the top-tier league title 2001 and the second-tier title in 2014.

In 2016, the Swede headed for the dugout. First as an assistant with Hammarby’s men’s team, then as first-team head coach of lower league Swedish side IK Frej, before finally becoming the manager of Hammarby women in the Elitettan (the Swedish second division) in 2020.

Over four impressive years at Hammarby, Piñones-Arce got the Barjen promoted back into the Damallsvenskan at the first time of asking before improving the club’s league position in the top division year after year. From seventh in 2021, to fifth in 2022, to then finally first in 2023.

After such commendable work building Hammarby up from the ground, it was a shock to see Piñones-Arce leave the club suddenly after reaching new heights. However, perhaps there has never been a better time for him to test his ability at another top league around the world.

What does this mean?

On the surface, this is quite the coup for the Dash. Piñones-Arce has been an accomplished club builder and coach at an elite club in a top European league.

Piñones-Arce will work closely with Houston general manager Singer and collaborate with Alonso. He is expected to be a key cog for the Dash’s overall strategy. Especially when it comes to the club’s football operations: Team ethos, culture, managing the salary cap, training protocols, and systems, staff performance, and retention.

Over the years, Houston have been in need of adding more staff to help aid the club’s football operations. How Piñones-Arce adapts to the NWSL, its quirks, and traits, will be interesting to watch.

Similarly, how he will divide the work and collaborate with Singer and Alonso will be paramount to whether he is successful in his newly carved-out role for the Dash. How will these relationships evolve? Can Alonso, who has never worked with a general manager or a technical director before, quickly gel with his higher-ups?

With a new head coach with experience in the English and Scottish games, and a new technical director from Sweden, the Dash are developing an impressive staff with international expertise and knowledge of the game. Albeit, there is now a trend of Houston looking away from proven NWSL experience in their coaching and front office roles.