New MLS Managers

What’s New For the 2021 Season?

I was looking over the league to get an idea of all of the changes since last season. Honestly, I have not been paying attention to the preseason games at all. Here are some things to look out for.

Canadian Teams Have Relocated to the United States

Due to COVID restrictions in Canada sports teams cannot travel freely to the United States and back. So the three MLS teams, for now, are going to be based in the United States. This will be a big strain on the players, the staff, and their families. Doing this for a limited time is one thing, doing it for a whole season is another story.

Club de Foot Montreal

CF Montreal will be based in Florida, in Ft. Lauderdale and play their home games at Inter Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium.

Toronto FC

Toronto FC will stay in the Orlando area and will host most games at Orlando City’s Exploria Stadium.

Vancouver Whitecaps

The Vancouver Whitecaps will be in the Salt Lake City area and play matches at Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium.

MLS Teams With New Managers

With every new season we see a new crop of managers in the league. So which new managers will make a difference this season? With all managers you are hired until you are fired. very few managers leave at the tp and under their own steam.

Gerhard Struber / New York Red Bulls

Struber was named the head coach of the New York Red Bulls in October of last year, taking over for Chris Armas. So this will be his first season in charge of a team in the MLS. Struber had previously managed Barnsley FC from the Championship in England. He had played his entire career in the Austrian Bundesliga, and was part of the Red Bull Salzburg coaching team for many years. At 44, the ex-midfield player is one of the youngers managers in the league.

Josh Wolf / Austin FC

This is an expansion team with a brand new manager and a brand new everything. Wolff had been an assistant manager at D.C. United, Columbus Crew, and the United States national team. As a player the forward started his professional career with the Chicago Fire, then he played for Kansas City (Wizards), and D.C. United. It will be a tough job for any experienced manager to work with an expansion team in this league. Wolff will have his work cut out for himself. A big positive for him is the sporting director of Austin FC is Claudio Reyna, a legend of the United States men’s national team, not to mention; Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Rangers, Sunderland, and Manchester City.

Hernan Losada / D.C, United

Hernan Losada is another young, exciting Argentinian manager, only 38 years old. Losada finished his playing career, and started his managerial career with Beerschot in the Belgian league. Expectations will be high in D.C. for 2021, the team underperformed under Ben Olsen. Hopefully we will be a more aggressive style form D.C. United this season.

Gabriel Heinze / Atlanta United

Last year was a disaster for Atlanta United. The Frank de Boer experiment failed miserly. Maybe that was to be expected after all of the success under “Tata” Martino. The “Five Stripes” nation will be hoping that last year was a one-off. Josef Martinez was out for most of the season with a ACL injury, and Ezequiel Barco did not fill the shoes of Miguel Almiron who went to Newcastle in the Premier League.

Heinze is another young manager, only 42 years old. The Argentinian defender had an amazing playing career with; Newell’s Old Boys, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Marseille, and Roma. He has been coaching in Argentina since 2015 and couple be the idea manager to bring the excitement back to Atlanta.

Greg Vanney / LA Galaxy

We all know Greg Vanney’s pedigree. he did an amazing job as manager at Toronto FC for 14 years. Vanney started and ended his playing career with the LA Galaxy. So it is probably fitting that the parodical son returns to rebuild the Galaxy, and get them back to prior greatness.

Chris Armas / Toronto FC

They say, when one door closes, another door opens. That is a truism in football management. One teams failure and a reject is the next teams savior. Armas was just out the door at the Red Bulls when an amazing opportunity open up in Toronto. He will have his challenges this season with not playing at home, rebuilding the team, and will Jozy Altidore be fit. Armas with have a chip on his shoulder to the show the Red Bulls that they should not have fired him. That will hopefully bring some positive energy to TFC.

Phil Neville / Inter Miami

Inter Miami was a bit of a disappointment last season, even though they made the playoffs, but it was their first year and there was a worldwide pandemic. They are trying to build a worldwide brand with David Beckham and big signing like; Blaise Matuidi, Gonzalo Higuaín, and Rodolfo Pizarro. Neville took over in January from Diego Alonso, who failed to inspire the team last season. Neville played over 500 games with Manchester United and Everton in the Premier League. He has also coached the English Women’s national team since 2018.

It will be big jump up from a part-time managerial position as the manager of the Women’s national team to a 7 day a week job in the MLS. His assistant coaches are Jason Kreis, and Anthony Pulis. Inter Miami is not interested in just rebuilding, they are building a brand. They need success now. What is success? At a bare minimum, making the playoff, and going beyond the first round. Even that may not enough to meet their expectations.

Wilfried Nancy / CF Montréal

Nancy took over from Thierry Henry when he resigned in February. Nancy has been a part of the Montreal team’s organization since its inception in 2011. He has served as the manager of the U16, U19, and U21 teams.