Ex-Aston Villa boss named top-flight manager on 'multi-year deal' after beating former Chelsea man to position

A former Aston Villa manager has landed an MLS role as he makes his return to football

Former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has been appointed as manager of MLS side Charlotte FC on a multi-year deal as he makes his return to top-flight management. The 52-year-old managed Villa between 2018 and 2021 and had an eight-game spell in charge at Leicester City at the end of last season.

The Foxes were relegated as Smith was unable to save them from the drop, as he left the club following the end of the campaign. Reports claim ex-Chelsea and Everton boss Frank Lampard also interviewed for the Charlotte FC vacancy, but Smith has landed the role ahead of the 2024 MLS season. The campaign usually runs between February and October.

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Upon landing the role, Smith said: “I’m honored [sic] to be appointed as the next head coach of Charlotte FC and cannot wait to start preparations for the 2024 season. Throughout the interview process, it was clear that this is an ambitious club with the right ingredients for success and I’m delighted to begin a new chapter in Charlotte.

“This is a unique opportunity to be part of a project with so much potential to take to new heights in Major League Soccer. I’d like to thank Mr. Tepper, Zoran, Joe and the rest of the Charlotte FC leadership for entrusting me to lead this team and I look forward to meeting everyone involved with Charlotte FC.”

Club owner David Tepper added: “We’re excited to welcome Dean and his family to Charlotte to become the next head coach of Charlotte FC.. We’re confident his leadership and experience will help elevate our club beyond its first playoff appearance into a championship team." Sporting director Zoran Krneta also commented, stating: “He has proven track record of sporting success across multiple levels of professional football and his man management style will be welcomed by our locker room. Dean’s excited to hit the ground running in Charlotte and we look forward to welcoming him and his family soon.”

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