Oct 26, 2022 - Sports

Scoop: Charlotte FC signs its second head coach

Charlotte FC interim head coach Christian Lattanzio. Photo: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Photo: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Take the interim tag off — Christian Lattanzio is here to stay as Charlotte FC’s head coach.

It’s a two-year deal with an option to extend for 2025. An official announcement is expected from the club later today. 

Why it matters: Charlotte finally has a bit of stability amid a tumultuous 2022 for head coaches.

State of play: Charlotte FC sacked inaugural head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez in May, less than halfway through their first season and less than a year after they hired him. He didn’t connect with the players

  • Lattanzio “steadied the ship,” as Charlotte FC sporting director Zoran Krneta told Axios in August. 
  • The 51-year-old career assistant was ready for the opportunity as a head coach if and when it presented itself, he told Axios, but he hardly expected it to happen like this. 
  • “I felt a duty to help in this situation,” Lattanzio said.  

By the numbers: Charlotte failed to make the playoffs, finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference at 13-18-3 with 42 points. They went 8-10-2 under Lattanzio. 

  • “We just ran out of time, unfortunately,” Lattanzio said. 
  • Of note: Charlotte beat both of the teams playing in Sunday’s Eastern conference final: New York City FC and Philadelphia.
  • Charlotte’s 4-0 thrashing against Philadelphia at home on Oct. 1 is one of Lattanzio’s favorite memories from year one, along with the team’s 4-1 win against Nashville, beating New York City FC a player down and their first road win at Houston. 

Flashback: A native of Rome, Lattanzio served as an assistant for more than 15 years, first with West Ham in the English Premier League. He also worked in MLS as an assistant at New York City FC alongside Patrick Vieira before returning to coach in Nice, France. 

Zoom out: Today his wife, Chrystele Loubignac-Lattanzio and 16-year-old son Marco and 11-year-old daughter Mila still call Nice home. The Lattanzios don’t want to pull their kids out of school again since they’ve moved from London to Manchester to New York and ultimately Nice. 

  • They’re currently visiting him in Charlotte and the whole family will head to Nice in a few weeks before heading to Rome to visit Lattanzio’s extended family. 

Like any professional coach, time away from the job is limited, especially during the season, and MLS runs nearly all-year. But Lattanzio has had a chance to head to places like Lake Norman and the U.S. National Whitewater Center, and he and his family hope to head to Asheville for some hiking soon. 

  • He’s focused on spending time with his family to close out 2022 – they’ve been to Carowinds several times – but “there’s work to be done” on the pitch, he said. 

What’s next: Players had a week off after their regular season finale on Oct. 9, a 2-0 loss at New York Red Bulls. They’re back training and they’ll play a closed-door friendly against expansion side St. Louis City SC at Charlotte’s training facility on Oct. 28. 

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