NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With USL matches less than a year away, Nashville SC has a new coach for its first season in Gary Smith.

Smith brings 20 years of coaching experience to Music City. His most notable achievement came in 2010 managing the Colorado Rapids to the MLS.

He is one of only five English coaches to win a top-flight trophy like and MLS cup outside of England.

Smith’s coaching career in England included stints at Wimbledon, Wycombe and Watford before he joined the Rapids as Academy Director for Arsenal FC as part of worldwide development program for the Premier League Club.

He then led the Rapids MLS team for three seasons before moving to Stevenage in England’s League One, where he served as head coach for two seasons, qualifying for the League 1 playoffs in his first season.

Smith recently served as coach of the Atlanta Silverbacks during their 2015 North American Soccer League campaign.

With so much experience, the question could be asked–why Nashville? But the opportunity to expand the game was too tempting in a place like Music City.

“He had the desire to help build a club for Nashville and loved the blank canvas that he had to here and help invest in this sport in this state and this city, so that is what attracted him, and how we were able to land someone that we might not normally be able to do on a regular day,” said Court Jeske, CEO of Nashville SC.

“Really put some foundations down not just for the team in 2018 but for the long-term future of soccer here in Nashville, and I just don’t think you get those opportunities too often as a coach,” Smith said.

Nashville SC will begin its first season in the USL in March of 2018.