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Report: Former TFC head coach Chris Armas to join Manchester United as an assistant

According to multiple reports, former Toronto FC head coach Chris Armas will be on the touch line for English Premier League giant Manchester United this season.

MLS: Toronto FC at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO, Canada—According to multiple reports, former Toronto FC head coach Chris Armas will be on the touch line for English Premier League giant Manchester United this season.

As first mentioned by ESPN’s Taylor Twellman, Armas will join Ralf Rangnick’s coaching staff as an assistant coach and the move should officially be announced in the coming days. Rangnick was confirmed as interim United manager last week, replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Armas will replace Michael Carrick on the United coaching staff.

Armas is coming off a difficult campaign as head coach of TFC, as he was relieved of his duties just 11 games into the Major League Soccer season. Playing away from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Armas led an injury-riddled Toronto FC side to a dreadful 1-8-2 record in MLS before parting ways with the club.

As we’ve uncovered this year, all of that blame certainly does not fall on the shoulders of Armas, who was brought in as a coach that specializes in a pressing-based system. And while the former New York Red Bulls manager was far from perfect, the personnel in place — like Jozy Altidore, Omar Gonzalez, and Michael Bradley — were not ideal (to say the least) for his style of play, and much of that blame should fall on the shoulders of former TFC GM Ali Curtis and President Bill Manning.

Armas was replaced by Javier Pérez on July 4 for the rest of the season, who led TFC to a record of 5-10-8 (23 points) in MLS.

By all accounts, Armas was well liked within the Toronto FC locker room by the majority of the players, but by the end of his stint, he certainly lost their trust as a leader as he failed to adapt to a system that would better fit the Reds’ roster. However, he was seen as a great motivator, a likable guy, and in my opinion, someone that could succeed if put in the right situation, as we saw with the New York Red Bulls in 2018 when he helped lead the MLS side to the Supporters’ Shield.

Armas and United interim Rangnick apparently have a great relationship dating back to their days in the New York Red Bulls system. Rangnick was the head of sport and development for Red Bull’s clubs in New York and Brazil while Armas was head coach.

With that being said, it’s tough to say whether or not Armas was Rangnick’s first choice. According to The Athletic, Rangnick, who is working alongside Mike Phelan and Kieran McKenna who were both with United long before the interim manager’s arrival, has previously discussed bringing his own coaches in.

Last week, he said: “I will obviously try to find one, two, maybe three people who can join us in the one or two weeks but due to the Brexit regulations it’s not too easy.

“Many of my former colleagues, no matter if it is video analysts or assistant coaches are in long-term contracts with big clubs so they are not available right now and we have to be a bit smart and clever and find the right people.

“I hope that we can get them in here in the next one or two weeks, but I cannot tell you any names.”