Major League Soccer’s newest expansion club Charlotte FC announced Miguel Angel Ramirez as the inaugural head coach ahead of their 2022 debut.
Ramirez is set to join the American side after coaching Brazilian club Porto Alegre International in 2021. Prior to his experience in Brazil, he led Ecuadorian club Independiente del Valle for two seasons during which he lifted the Copa Sudamericana titled months into the job. Charlotte took notice of his work in South America after their head coach hunt kicked off in December 2019.
“He was wanted by half of the big Latin American clubs after he won the Copa Sudamericana," Charlotte sporting director Zoran Krneta told the MLS website.
"He had offers from Europe and other clubs in the world...he's a big upcoming coaching star. We realized this is someone we need to seriously look at and put through the process and we did put him through the same process as everybody else and he just did fantastically well."
At only 36 years of age, Ramirez stands as the youngest coach in Major League Soccer history. He commenced his career as a youth soccer coach, spending more than a decade in that category before debuting with any senior team.
In 2019, he joined Ecuador and earned immediate praise. He transferred to the Brazilian league a year later, increasing his international portfolio and reputation. At that point, Charlotte executives explained they didn't believe the club had any chance in attracting the up and coming head coach.
“He was not on an initial list of candidates because we didn’t think, really, that we could get him," said Krneta.
Desperate, the club met with and interviewed more than 30 candidates before zeroing in on their dream individual. Beyond international success, Krneta explained he possesses something desired by the new expansion team: ambition.
"He’s possession based. He’s attractive, attacking, and entertaining soccer. He wants to control the ball and control the happenings on the pitch. We wanted a coach who would be not afraid to dip into that pool and to develop the players. We wanted a coach who is an educator, and he is the leader, the coach who has a great player-coach relationship, so he’s a man-manager. He will develop and strengthen those relationships."
The club is set to kick off in 2022 after announcing themselves as Major League Soccer’s newest team in December 2019.