Dean Smith is set to take over Charlotte FC as the new head coach, sources confirm to 90min.
Both Smith and Frank Lampard interviewed for the opening, with a spokesperson adding no final decision has officially been made. But sources maintain Smith holds the edge over the former Everton boss.
He replaces Christian Lattanzio, who departed the club in November. Lattanzio originally joined the club as an assistant under former head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez, before taking over as the interim manager when the Spaniard left the team 14 games into The Crown's inaugural 2022 season.
Lattanzio guided the Eastern Conference side to an overall 22W-24L-17D record in his year-and-a-half in charge, qualifying to a playoff Wild Card spot in 2023 for the first time in club history before falling 5-2 to the New York Red Bulls.
Now, Smith will lead the expansion team. He joins after managing Leicester, unsuccessful at keeping the team in the Premier League when taking over in April with only eight games left to play. He also saw a three-year stint with Aston Villa, coaching the club back up from the Championship.
Charlotte will need the experience at the helm when heading into their third ever Major League Soccer season. Though the team reached the playoffs as a wild card team in 2023, Charlotte has yet to win any silverware since their inaugural season in 2022.