Expansion Charlotte fires coach Ramírez after slow start


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FILE – Charlotte FC head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez is introduced in the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Commerce City, Colorado. Charlotte FC sacked coach Miguel Angel Ramírez on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, aged just 14. regular season games. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

PA

Charlotte sacked coach Miguel Angel Ramírez on Tuesday after just 14 league appearances in the season.

Ramírez was hired by owner David Tepper to manage the Major League Soccer expansion club and was fired after five wins, eight losses and a draw in the league. The team qualified for the round of 16 of the US Open Cup, winning two games before losing to the New York Red Bulls last week.

Assistant coach Christian Lattanzio will act as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Ramírez became the third coach in the 28-team league fired this season, following San Jose’s Matías Almeyda on April 18 and DC’s Hernán Losada on April 20.

No explanation was given for the shooting.

“It’s a tough decision, but one that we think is the best for the team right now,” Tepper said in a press release. “I want to thank Miguel and his team for their hard work during our first season and wish them the best in their future endeavours.”

Assistant coach Mikel Antía, head physical trainer Cristobal Fuentes Nieto and first-team video analyst Luis Piedrahita were also dismissed. Goalkeeping coach Andy Quy will remain with the team.

“We appreciate the contributions of Miguel and his team to our club and wish them continued success in their careers,” said Charlotte sporting director Zoran Krneta. “We are delighted with this opportunity for Christian. He is a very experienced coach who has had a huge impact on our team this season.

It’s unclear whether Ramirez’s outspoken nature played a role in his dismissal.

Prior to the start of the season, Ramirez said in an interview that Charlotte was “screwed” ahead of its inaugural season after failing to acquire some of the talented players it had coveted.

It is not entirely uncommon for Major League Soccer teams to fire coaches in their first season.

Since the start of the 2019 season, six full-time coaches have lasted a year or less: Alan Koch and Ron Jans of Cincinnati, Thierry Henry of Montreal, Diego Alonso of Inter Miami, Chris Armas of Toronto and Gabriel Heinze of Atlanta. Another expansion coach who didn’t last more than a season was Jason Kreis of New York.

It’s the second time in as many jobs that Ramirez has been fired mid-season; he was dismissed by Internacional de Brasil despite going 11-7-4.

Some football teams were able to recover quickly from such moves. Tottenham fired their manager 17 games into their season before struggling and finishing in the Premier League top four. And Nottingham Forest sacked their manager after just under a year in charge and went from last place to promotion to the Premier League last weekend.

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