Major League Soccer

Charlotte FC appoint former Newcastle assistant Mikel Antia to coaching staff

Lizzy Becherano
Former Newcastle assistant coach Mikel Antia joins MLS team Charlotte FC
Former Newcastle assistant coach Mikel Antia joins MLS team Charlotte FC / Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team Charlotte FC has appointed Mikel Antia as assistant manager to serve under head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez.

The former Newcastle assistant joins the team on a three-year deal with his official hire pending receipt of a work visa, the club announced Wednesday.

The 49-year-old Spaniard joins Major League Soccer from Chinese side Dalian Pro, where he served from 2019 to 2021. He previously assisted Premier League side Newcastle United from 2016 to 2019. During his time in England, Antia served under Rafael Benitez, who led the team’s promotion to the Premier League.

“We look forward to welcome Mikel to Charlotte FC. We are very pleased with the coaching team we are establishing for our inaugural season,” sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a club statement.

“Mikel brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of styles of play, methodology and player development systems. We expect that our newly formed coaching staff with head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez, assistant Christian Lattanzio and Mikel will lead a competitive team.”

Before transitioning into a managerial position, Antia played for Celta Vigo, Real Valladolid and Real Sociedad throughout his career.

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to join Charlotte FC’s coaching team and work with Miguel and Christian,” said Antía.

“I have known Miguel since my time at the Aspire Academy from 2012-2016 and have seen his evolution as a coach. Football is my passion and the possibility of helping build this Club allows me to combine different styles of play based on rhythm, intensity and a solid understanding of the game.”

Antia is the third individual to join the Charlotte FC staff, after head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez and assistant coach Christian Lattanzio. Charlotte FC also signed defenders Christian Fuchs, Adam Armour and Jan Sobociński, and midfielders Brandt Bronico, Sergio Ruiz and Riley McGree.