New Coach? What Miguel Ángel Ramírez Could Bring to the Table
Written by Cole Godfrey
The first coach in Charlotte FC history has been announced ... or so it seems.
According to Paul Tenorio from The Athletic, Miguel Angel Ramirez is set to take the crown as the first coach in the clubs history.
The 36-year-old Ramirez was recently let go by Brazilian club Internacional after three months and posting a 10-7-4 record. He rose to fame in Ecuador when he took led his Independiente Del Valle club to the 2019 Copa Sudamericana title, the first in club history. It brought a lot of attention to him as the small Ecuadorian side crushed the defending champions Flamengo.
Ramirez first worked with his hometown club Las Palmas in Spain. After he left there is moved to Greece and worked with youth squads with several different clubs, including Greece's top and most well-known club Olympiacios. From there, he moved to Qatar and worked at the Aspire Academy, where he met his mentor Roberto Olabe who is now the Director of football at La Liga side Real Sociedad. In an interview with The Athletic in December, he said that after spending time with him, he could see the game in a different way stating, "Roberto had this way of seeing the game as it relates to the player, to space, to the opponent."
That way of seeing the game is an attacking and possession-based style. This could be good news to Charlotte FC supporters. With only six players signed, he could have a massive say in upcoming player signings. The similarities between his time at Independiente and his potential upcoming tenure with Charlotte are stunning. In the same interview with The Athletic, he stated, "Throughout the club, teams use the same method of training and style of play. There is also a very effective scouting network. Right now, Independiente are the No 1 club in Ecuador for scouting young players: the best talents in the country play in our youth teams. We try to get players into the first team, and the idea is that later we can sell them to bigger clubs. So players leave, players come in from the academy, those players are sold… and that's how the club remains sustainable."
That is eerily similar to the MLS; it also reminds me of the way President Nick Kelly is starting to build Charlotte. The fact that Ramirez had so much success at a club so similar in philosophy but with a lower budget should be encouraging. Also, facing teams with more talent and with a lot more money and beating them consistently is a wonderful sign. He also said in regards to his next opportunity, "I have to be careful because I don't think my way of playing would be well suited to just any kind of club. My way of understanding football needs a particular context, which not all clubs have. So I have to be very sure before I take the next step."
With him saying that, one could deduce that he thought long and hard about coming to the USA. The good news, at least in my opinion, is that so did the leadership of Charlotte FC, in doing their homework and knowing what kind of system Ramirez is successful with and wanting the same thing. The type of system he wants to establish would fit already signed midfielders Sergio Ruiz and Riley McGree well.
Details are still to come with Charlotte FC not making an official announcement as of yet.