Charlotte FC name Christian Lattanzio as permanent head coach

Chris Smith
Lattanzio enjoyed a strong late-season run.
Lattanzio enjoyed a strong late-season run. / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte FC have named interim boss Christian Lattanzio as their new permanent head coach.

Lattanzio took over from the club's first-ever head coach, Miguel Angel Ramirez, at the end of May following the Spaniard's controversial departure.

A former assistant to Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City, Lattanzio went on to guide CLTFC to a ninth-place finish in the Eastern Conference, missing out on the MLS Cup Playoffs in their inaugural year by just two places and six points.

Lattanzio - who holds an 8-10-2 record with The Crown - has signed a deal through the 2024 season with a club option for 2025.

“I’ve said many times that Charlotte FC is a special place, not only in Major League Soccer, but around the world of football. I’m excited to sign an extension here in Charlotte as we continue to build our culture and identity,” Lattanzio said in a club press release. “I’m honored to be the head coach of Charlotte FC and know everyone at this football club is aligned and prepared to move forward into 2023 as we improve on the foundation we have built together this season.” 

Among Lattanzio's key achievements was twice beating NYCFC, becoming the first expansion team in the modern era to maintain a 100% record against the defending champions, while CLTFC also thrashing top-of-the-East Philadelphia Union 4-0.

“Christian did an excellent job navigating a challenging time for our Club through the second half of the season and we’re delighted to keep him at Charlotte FC,” said sporting director Zoran Krneta.

“Having consistency from one season to the next is a proven model of success in Major League Soccer, and this extension, along with the options we exercised earlier this month, ensures the core of the team stays intact. Inking Christian to a long-term deal was paramount in our offseason plan to continue building a sustainable football club that is ready to take the next step in 2023 and beyond.” 

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Zoran Krneta commits future to Charlotte FC

Alongside Lattanzio, Charlotte FC sporting director Zoran Krneta, director of scouting Thomas Schaling, and head of analytics & technical scouting Lisandro Isei have all penned new long-term contracts with the club.

“We’re delighted to have Zoran, Thomas, and Lisandro re-sign with Charlotte FC as they, along with technical director Bobby Belair, continue to lead our sporting operations and provide the stability that is necessary to build upon the foundation laid in 2022,” said president Joe LaBue.

“2023 is an important season for our club as we introduce MLS Next Pro, continue to grow our academy, and strive to make the Playoffs after falling just short this season. Everyone at the club is grateful for the leadership shown by Zoran and his team through the ups and downs of our inaugural season, and we’re confident we have the right leaders guiding Charlotte FC for the years ahead.”

Owner David Tepper added: “Our inaugural season is one everyone across the Carolinas should be proud of and proved what all of us here knew all along: Major League Soccer belongs in Charlotte.

"The results down the stretch were extremely promising and we’re excited to have Christian build upon the positive momentum we had at the end of the season. Everyone here is committed to improving our squad and is aligned to build a winning organization.”