At a press conference this morning, Nashville SC chief executive Ian Ayre announced that Gary Smith will be the club’s first Major League Soccer coach in the 2020 season.
Smith was named Nashville’s USL coach a year prior to the club’s inaugural season at that level, and led the squad to an eighth-place finish in the 2018 season. The 2019 club is considered one of the favorites for the USL title after signing multiple big-name players over the offseason.
“It isn’t just about the soccer side in terms of the players,” Ayre said. “The relationship that Gary’s developed over the last year or so with our supporters in Nashville is truly outstanding, and most importantly the relationship that he has with our front office at Nashville Soccer Club.”
Smith previously coached the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks, Stevenage in England’s League One, and for four years, the MLS’s Colorado Rapids – including an MLS Cup championship win in 2011. He is one of 16 coaches to ever win a cup in Major League Soccer.
“When I look at the relationships that have been built already, it bodes exceptionally well for the future,” Smith said. “I’m sure those relationships will be instrumental when we build and put a team on the field for MLS.”
Nashville SC’s final USL Championship regular season begins Saturday, when the Boys in Gold host expansion club Loudoun United.