On Thursday, the first tangible name associated with Angel City FC’s head coaching search emerged, in North Carolina Courage assistant coach Sean Nahas. On Friday, the club issued an oblique statement in response to the backlash among many supporters.
I wrote about this in considerable depth on Thursday, but after Meg Linehan reported Nahas was the NWSL expansion team’s “target” to be their first head coach, Angel City’s supporters groups were pretty forceful in their discontent that the club’s head coach would be a man, and the groups and individual supporters asked the club to reconsider repeatedly on social media.
Without getting into the full discussion here, the unhappiness stemmed less from Nahas himself and more from the fact that soccer coaching in the United States is overwhelmingly dominated by men, including in women’s soccer, and the supporters had the expectation that Angel City FC, which has touted its womencentric approach since it launched, would hire a woman to coach the team, in addition to the announced front office staff and sporting director Eni Aluko, all of whom are women.
In response, Angel City FC released a statement on social media on Friday addressing the supporters’ complaints.
I don’t have any inside information here, but I think Linehan’s reporting was rock-solid. I think the club did not expect any pushback, and in response are probably reconsidering making Nahas the top choice. And while this could turn out to be rotten for him personally, if the team changes its mind mainly because he’s a man, I guess one could argue he’ll likely get another look at some point from another club.
So we’ll see what happens, but my hunch is that the odds have shot up that the first head coach of Angel City FC will be a woman. Stay tuned.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.