By Gareth James
Former Wales and Cardiff City striker Robert Earnshaw has continued to climb the coaching ladder in the USA with his appointment as an assistant at Orange County SC.
Earnshaw – who was previously a youth coach at Vancouver Whitecaps before coaching at Fresno FC – will be the right-hand man to head coach Richard Chaplow at Orange County.
The 40-year-old former Bluebirds favourite will start work in the new year at the California-based club, who play in the USL, the second tier national competition that sits just below the MLS.
Earnshaw made 579 career appearances and scored 236 goals at spells with Cardiff City, West Bromwich Albion, Nottingham Forest, Toronto FC and others.
He provides a wealth of experience from his playing career that spanned 18 seasons across six countries.
In Feb 2022 I will be joining
Orange County SC in California as
1st team Assistant Coach with my old teammate Richard Chaplow
An exciting step.
The journey that continues…. pic.twitter.com/lQ5nw6S665
— Robert Earnshaw (@RobertEarnshaw) December 21, 2021
He also earned 59 international caps for Wales and scored 16 goals.
The Zambia-born forward was part of the Wales side beaten by Russia in the Euro 2004 play-offs as Mark Hughes’ team went down 1-0 in Cardiff.
“I am really excited and honoured to take this next step forward and join USL Championship champions Orange County Soccer Club,” said Earnshaw.
“I can’t wait to feel the energy and support of fans when we look to retain the title.
“My focus will be to add value and bring my experiences to this special organization and, very importantly, to help our players achieve their goals.”
OCSC President of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss said: “We are thrilled to add Robert, a first-class professional who has played and succeeded on the absolute highest level, to our coaching staff.
“Robert’s extensive International playing and coaching experience will have a significant impact on our players. He is a great addition to Orange County and will elevate our club on and off the field.”
We’re thrilled to announce the newest member of our coaching staff: @RobertEarnshaw. A world-class addition.
🗞 https://t.co/XWXszD9uLI pic.twitter.com/t4davKqtGp
— Orange County SC – ⭐ (@orangecountysc) December 20, 2021
As a player, Earnshaw holds the distinction of being the only player to score a hat-trick in the top four divisions of English football.
He also scored hat-tricks in the League Cup, FA Cup and during an international match against Scotland. In total, he amassed 10 hat tricks during his career.
Earnshaw will be reunited with Chaplow as they were teammates during their time in the Premier League with West Brom from 2004 to 2006.
“I am excited to be adding Robert to our coaching staff,” said Chaplow.
“Having played at the highest level, we know his experiences will be a useful learning tool for us, that has only been strengthened with the coaching journey he has been on. A great addition to the family, I can’t wait to get to work with him.”
Earnshaw was previously on the coaching staff during the 2018-2019 USL Championship seasons at Fresno FC following his tenure with Major League Soccer’s side Vancouver Whitecaps.