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Charlotte FC's first head coach will have one responsibility: Winning
On-field results will be measuring stick
Published Wednesday, July 29, 2020 6:19 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Charlotte FC's inaugural coach will be solely responsible for results on the pitch. The team has a pool of three or four candidates, according to Sporting Director Zoran Krneta.

Charlotte FC will have a head coach, not a manager.

There are several differences between American soccer and global game when it comes to terminology. It can be as basic as soccer versus football, game versus match, cleats versus boots, or pitch versus field. Those are synonymous. In the United States, a head coach is often considered the equivalent of a manager abroad. Yet Charlotte FC Sporting Director Zoran Krneta wants it clear they will have a head coach, and the role will not be identical to that of a manager.

“I prefer to call them head coaches rather than a manager, because there is a difference in the role,” he said.

Whomever the inaugural head coach is, his or her responsibility will be producing results on the pitch rather than running the entire organization. Krneta said they are looking for someone with proven success, but not necessarily success at the highest level; a candidate with a record of and a willingness to develop young players and ability to be a team player.

“That’s very important, because this is why we call them the head coach rather than the manager, because he is going to be coaching the team and he is not going to be managing the whole organization,” Krneta said. “When they are called the manager, sometimes that means, especially in England, that person is responsible if the food is hot or cold for lunch. We don’t want that. We want the coach to focus on the work on the pitch and the preparations for the game.”

Tepper Sports and Entertainment President Tom Glick said the club will likely wait until 2021 to make that hire, as their inaugural Major League Soccer season was pushed back a year to 2022.

“There are a huge number of great managers, established household names, young up-and-comers who are having big success right now with bright futures who want to come to Major League Soccer, who want to come to Charlotte, work with us, help us win and help us establish this club,” Glick said. “We’ve had some really good options. We’re down to a very short list. It’s most likely that we will wait until next summer, and the reason for that is each of these managers, if at all possible, would like to continue coaching during the 2021 season, rather than taking a year off.”

Krneta, who was the club’s first hire on Dec. 31, 2019, said several candidates were interviewed prior to the delay and the field narrowed to three or four prospects. That pool will have to sharpen their skills elsewhere given the postponement.

“We were happy with the finalists,” Krneta said. “We had three-four names that really stood out, but there’s not much point of going deeper into that because we have to pause. We’ll keep in touch with these head coaches and we will go back to this whole process again very soon, but for now, it’s all paused. This gives us a great opportunity to monitor those people again and potentially find someone else who will come out and catch our eye in the next 6-12 months.”



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