Nashville SC

Gary Smith earns contract extension

Read my column-type substance on Smith’s extension here.

From Club release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 12, 2021) – Nashville Soccer Club announced today the contract extension of Head Coach Gary Smith through the 2023 season. Smith, who was originally named the club’s first head coach in Major League Soccer on March 6, 2019, signs a new deal after leading Nashville SC to its first Audi MLS Cup Playoff appearance during the club’s inaugural MLS season.

Smith brought a competitive and workmanlike mentality to Nashville SC that began to pay dividends immediately. Despite the adversity brought by 2020, Smith’s resilience led the club to two Audi MLS Cup Playoff victories on their way to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, becoming the first expansion team to accomplish this goal since the 1998 Chicago Fire FC.

During the season, Smith guided Nashville SC to a nine-match home unbeaten streak and a 5W-2L-5D record when in Music City. Smith’s career home record in MLS is among the best of active MLS coaches, as he has never lost more than two home matches in a season in his MLS career.

Along the team’s success in 2020, Smith surpassed the 300 matches managed mark across all competitions. Smith’s first head coaching opportunity came in with the Colorado Rapids in the 2008 MLS season when he was named interim Head Coach for the final five matches. Smith was awarded the full-time job in 2009 and after narrowly missing the playoffs in his first year, Smith led the Rapids to the MLS Cup title in 2010, becoming the first, and only, English coach to win MLS Cup.

Prior to his time in Colorado, Smith was on the staff for numerous English clubs, including Arsenal FC and Watford FC. Following the Rapids, he was the head coach of Stevenage FC of English League One and Atlanta Silverbacks FC of the North American Soccer League.

Originally from Harlow, England, Smith began his career as a professional soccer player, making appearances for Fulham FC, Colchester United FC and Wycombe Wanderers FC, amongst others.

Nashville SC release

It’s a well-deserved extension, particularly given the overachievement – whether perceived or actual – in the inaugural MLS season for this team, in the face of plenty of adversity.

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