Local Standout John Palladino Returns, Joins Spokane Sounders Staff

The Spokane Sounders are proud to announce that John Palladino, one of Spokane’s most accomplished players, is returning to his hometown as an addition to the club’s coaching staff after stellar playing and coaching careers across the nation. And, he’s a successful actor as well.

“It is a true honor to join this club and coaching staff that was instrumental to me as a young player,” said Palladino. “To be back in Spokane, coaching on the fields I was raised on, giving back to a community that gave so much to me, is an absolute dream.”

Palladino’s stellar playing career began at an early age as he was a member of the Washington and Regional ODP teams and pools in 2000 and 2001. He also found success during his high school years while at Central Valley. As if playing varsity for the Bears was not enough, he traveled with Boise Nationals in 2002, winning state and placing second regionally. Then in 2003 he capped his CV career with GSL Golden Boot and Player of the Year honors.

Later that year he made the leap to the Spokane Shadow men’s team, playing in the USL PDL (now USL League Two) for the first of many seasons to come. He would help lead the team to the division title in 2002 and 2003 and tie for first in 2004, earning All Western Conference honors for his performance at midfield.

He also began his collegiate career at Gonzaga in 2003. He would earn All West Coast Conference honors all four years with the Zags and served as team captain his junior and senior seasons.

His PDL career continued elsewhere while at Gonzaga, travelling to Colorado to play for Boulder Rapids Reserve, where he helped lead them to the division championship in 2006 as captain. The following year he moved to another legendary PDL side Michigan Bucks and won another division championship en route to the defending PDL champions’ return trip to the league championship match.

He also began his coaching career while in college, serving as U18 Spokane Shadow Head Coach in 2005.

“I have known Johnny for 25 years and am very excited to have Palli at the Spokane Sounders,” said coach Tim Seely. “I watched him grow up in my soccer academy and admired his early coaching career. I have always seen a coach in Palli. As a player he was a leader and student of the game. I am proud to call him family and friend. We will all benefit from his knowledge and true passion for this sport and city. Call me a big fan on the field and the movie screen!”

After wrapping up his career at GU, Palladino nearly joined the Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo, but would move onto New York, where he would fully begin his coaching career while also launching a new career in front of the camera. He would ultimately find himself criss-crossing the country working on the pitch in the Big Apple and his hometown. He returned home to serve as Gonzaga University Assistant Coach from 2011-13, also working as Washington East U18 Head Coach and an Idaho ODP coach (2013) simultaneously. He then returned to NYC and founded the Palladino Academy of Soccer, which proved to be a highly successful program, winning numerous youth championships in recent years in the NYCSL. He also served as head coach for Zum Schneider FC (2016-17) in the famed Cosmopolitan Soccer League, which he had played in since 2013 with Manhattan Celtic FC.

Though there may be many ‘famous faces’ from the history of the Spokane Shadow, Palladino’s is arguably the most famous. His acting career has seen him work on hit shows such as Blue Bloods (CBS), Bull (CBS), The Good Wife (CBS), Mrs. America (Hulu) along with a 12-episode arc on Orange is the New Black (Netflix). He is currently the lead Jimmy Valentino in the film I’m Not Him, which was recently released in March and available on demand.

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