Charlotte FC hires Ramírez to be expansion team’s 1st coach

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Miguel Ángel Ramírez of Spain has been hired as the first coach of Charlotte FC, a Major League Soccer expansion team set to begin play next year.

The club announced the move on Wednesday, saying Ramírez’s hiring is pending receipt of his work visa. Ramírez will officially begin in August.

An introductory news conference will be held later this month, the team said.

The 36-year-old Ramírez joins Charlotte FC after coaching Porto Alegre International in Brazil’s top-flight Serie A league earlier this year.

Ramírez previously led the Ecuadorian club Independiente del Valle for two seasons, winning the Copa Sudamericana title just months into his first head coaching job in 2019 for the first international title in Independiente’s history. The Copa Sudamericana is considered the second-most prestigious international competition in all of South America, pitting many of the top clubs on the continent.

“After a thorough review of many candidates, it was obvious to us that Miguel was the right person to lead our team,” owner David Tepper said in a news release. “He is a process-oriented coach with a unique style of play and a proven ability to develop young talent.”

Ramírez, who is from Las Palmas, Spain, began to train as coach in the lower categories of the Union Deportiva Las Palmas and Deportivo Alaves. He later worked with Greece in 2011 with AEK FC, Panathinaikos and Olympiacos. Ramirez also spent six years at the Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar.

“Next year will be historic for the team and for all new and existing fans as we prepare toward a remarkable inaugural campaign,” Ramirez said. “I am committed to create an entertaining, competitive club with talented young players and a unique style of play, as we build a stronger soccer culture from North to South Carolina.”

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