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The British managers living the American dream
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Dan Fitch
Eric Ramsay is the new head coach of Minnesota United
Eric Ramsay is the new head coach of Minnesota United

Eric Ramsay is about to become the latest British coach to take charge of a Major League Soccer club.

The Welshman, 32, has been working at Manchester United since 2021 but will leave the Premier League giants after their derby against Manchester City on Sunday.

He will join Minnesota United and will be the youngest head coach working in the MLS.

Ramsay is joining a number of British managers Stateside. Ahead of Matchday 2 in the MLS, we take a look at the tacticians already working in the US.

Nick Cushing — New York City FC

New York City FC is part of the City Football Group which includes Manchester City as part of its portfolio of clubs, so it is perhaps no surprise to see a Brit like Nick Cushing in charge.

He was manager of the Citizens' women's team between 2013 and 2020, delivering a Women's Super League title and three cups before moving to the Big Apple to become assistant to Ronny Deila.

When the Norwegian departed in 2022, Cushing stepped into the top job on a temporary basis, midway through the season. He would guide the team to the semi-finals of the MLS Playoffs.

Cushing's first full season in 2023, saw New York City just miss out on reaching the knockout rounds with an 11th-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

Gary Smith — Nashville SC

Gary Smith won the MLS Cup in 2010
Gary Smith won the MLS Cup in 2010

Gary Smith became the first, and so far only, Englishman to win the MLS Cup when he led the Colorado Rapids to glory in 2010.

He had been unexpectedly promoted from a coaching role in 2008. Leaving the Rapids in 2011, he had spells at Stevenage and North American Soccer League side Atlanta Silverbacks.

Smith became the first manager of Nashville in 2018, initially in the USL and then the MLS in 2020.

The 55-year-old has helped the Tennessee club to reach the play-offs in each of the last four seasons and they were also losing finalists in the Leagues Cup in 2023.

John Herdman — Toronto FC

John Herdman built his reputation in the women's game, managing New Zealand and Canada with much success.

In 2018, he took charge of the Canadian men's national team and oversaw qualification for the 2022 World Cup, which was their first appearance in the tournament for 36 years.

Following this feat, Herdman was a natural choice when Toronto were looking for a new manager in August last year.

Born in County Durham, the 48-year-old is embarking on his first MLS season with a star-studded squad that includes Italian internationals Federico Bernardeschi and Lorenzo Insigne.

Dean Smith — Charlotte FC

Another English manager embarking on his first season in the MLS is Dean Smith, who was named as head coach of Charlotte in December.

Of all the Brits currently working in the US, it is the 52-year-old who has the most high-profile experience in England.

Smith has managed the likes of Brentford, Aston Villa, Norwich and Leicester. Having been relegated in his last two jobs, a move to a new country made sense.

The former centre-back won his first game in charge of Charlotte, defeating New York City 1-0 last weekend.

Phil Neville — Portland Timbers

Phil Neville had an ill-fated spell as manager of Inter Miami
Phil Neville had an ill-fated spell as manager of Inter Miami

Joining Smith as a well-known English manager starting afresh at a MLS club is Phil Neville.

The former Lionesses boss was an unpopular appointment with fans of the Portland Timbers when it was announced that he would take charge of the team in November.

This followed a spell at David Beckham's Inter Miami, in which Neville was sacked midway through his second season with the Florida outfit bottom of the Eastern Conference.

The 47-year-old has much to prove but he got off to a flying start with a 4-1 win against Colorado Rapids last week.


Major League SoccerPortland TimbersCharlotteNew York City FCNashville SCToronto FC
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