Chris Little is in his first season as Head Coach of Tacoma Defiance. He is also the Sounders FC Academy Director of Coaching, where he oversees the development of Sounders FC’s youth system.
Little joined Sounders FC in 2017 from Elon University, where he was the Associate Head Coach from 2010 until 2013 before being promoted to Head Coach in 2014. He guided the Sounders FC Academy U-17 squad to the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship, and also captured the 2018 U-17 Generation Adidas Cup championship. He has coached 20 Academy players that have been involved with U.S. Youth National Teams, and eight players from his U-17 squads have signed professional contracts with S2. Little was named the 2018 U-16/17 U.S. Development Academy West Division Coach of the Year, and his club won the conference’s Community Award for the second consecutive season.
During his time at Elon, he won four conference championships and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. Little was named the 2015 Coach of the Year in the Midwest Region, and has had six former players from Elon sign professional contracts. In 2012, he was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Assistant Coach of the Year for the South Region.
Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Little grew up in Swindon, England. He was with AFC Bournemouth Academy before going on to play college soccer at UNC Pembroke, where he ranks fifth in school history in goals and second in assists. He helped lead the Braves to their first-ever Peach Belt Conference Tournament final before earning a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Pembroke. Little, who earned a coaching A license, went on to play for the Wilmington Hammerheads in the USL and served as the assistant coach for his alma mater. Little then went to serve as the head coach at Cumberland College for three seasons before returning to North Carolina as the state’s Director of Coaching and Player Development for the NC Youth Soccer Association.
Little and his wife, Kara, a former UNCP volleyball player, have two children, Lennon and Ewan.