Washington D.C. (Jan. 23, 2023) - D.C. United have hired Luke Jenkinson as the new First Team Performance Director to oversee players’ strength and conditioning in addition to injury prevention. Jenkinson previously held the role of Head of Performance for Derby County who are currently in the third tier of English soccer, League One. Jenkinson rejoins Head Coach Wayne Rooney after working alongside the Englishman at Derby County in the English Championship during the 2019-’20 season.
“Bringing Luke to the club as the performance director is a testament to our commitment towards bringing in top class leadership to the first team,” Dave Kasper, D.C. United President of Soccer Operations, said. “His close relationship with Wayne at Derby County will be valuable for us and we look forward to integrating his experience and soccer knowledge to ensure our players are physically prepared for the 2023 season.”
Jenkinson joined Derby County from Sheffield United in 2016 and first held the role of Head of Academy Strength and Conditioning. His success with the academy resulted in a promotion to the first team as Head of Sports Science and Academy Medicine where he worked directly with players in order to maximize their physical strength and conditioning.
“I’m looking forward to getting started with an exciting project at D.C. United.” Jenkinson said. “I worked closely with Wayne [Rooney] during his time at Derby County so it’s exciting to rejoin him in MLS; a league that has grown exponentially over the last few years. I want to thank ownership and Dave Kasper for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”
Jenkinson started his career at Sheffield United in 2010 as a part-time intern which then turned into a full-time position. At first, Jenkinson was in charge of the athletic development of Sheffield United’s U9 to U-16 side as Lead Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach. Over time, he helped Sheffield United become one of the top academies in the country before venturing onto Derby County.
Jenkinson has over 10 years of experience in soccer and holds a number of qualifications, including a First Class Honors Degree in Sport and Exercise Science, as well as a Masters of Research in Sport and Exercise Science and is currently working towards a Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Science. Jenkinson also holds the Football Association (FA) Level 2 Coaching Badge award and in 2019 won the UK Strength and Conditioning Association Coach of the Year award.