UPDATE: The Crew announced Nancy as the new head coach in a Tuesday morning press conference. Click here to watch the announcement.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Crew is expected to announce its next head coach Tuesday with just a few months to go until the 2023 season kicks off, sources confirmed to NBC4.
League sources confirmed to NBC4’s Whitney Harding that CF Montreal boss Wilfried Nancy will be the Black & Gold’s ninth man to manage the side and be formally announced in a Tuesday press conference. He is set to replace former boss Caleb Porter, who was sacked one day after the Crew’s October loss to Orlando City knocked them out of MLS Cup Playoff contention.
Nancy, 45, will come to Columbus after two seasons with Montreal in his first managerial position. The Frenchman guided Montreal to a Canadian Championship in 2021 and to a second place finish in the MLS Eastern Conference in the 2022 regular season. He served as the Montreal assistant from 2016 to 2021 before amassing 37 wins in two years in Canada.
In early November, reports of an altercation between Nancy and Montreal owner Joey Saputo that took place in July were confirmed and that staff at the club were concerned he would not finish the season.
With the expected announcement, the Crew will have its first non-American head coach since Robert Warzycha in 2013. Nancy is also set to be the first Black head coach in club history and is one of two Black head coaches in MLS, along with Chicago Fire boss and former Crew assistant Ezra Hendrickson.
The Black & Gold will go into 2023 looking for its first playoff appearance since 2020, when the club won MLS Cup in the COVID-shortened season. They will also have to guide through the inaugural expanded Leagues Cup, a World Cup-style tournament set to take place in the summer featuring each MLS and Liga MX club.
The Crew’s squad is also in a transition period with three key members of the 2020 title core heading off to new clubs: Pedro Santos to D.C. United, Derrick Etienne Jr. to Atlanta United, and Artur to the Houston Dynamo.