Sunday , May 26 2024

Columbus Crew & Wilfried Nancy agree to contract extension!

The Columbus Crew and Head Coach Wilfried Nancy have agreed to a contract extension, President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko announced today.

After being named the Black & Gold’s eighth full-time head coach in December 2022, Nancy – a 2023 Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year Award finalist – in his first season directed the Club to its third MLS Cup championship as it tied a franchise record with 57 points (third in the MLS Supporters’ Shield); posted a MLS-best 67 regular season goals, their first time pacing the league in the category; and led the league and set Club standards in many major statistical categories for performance at home.

“In addition to winning MLS Cup last year, we are excited to extend Wilfried’s contract because of the culture he has helped create within the Club, including our shared commitment to developing individuals both as players and as people, within the overall Crew ‘One Club’ philosophy,” said Bezbatchenko. “When we hired Wilfried, our top priority was ensuring alignment from the First Team through Crew 2 and the Academy with coaches, players and staff, including in our desired style of play, player profiles and most importantly, our club values. Wilfried has delivered in every way, and then some, with his leadership and devotion to entertaining soccer. We are confident with his and our team’s collective leadership and collaboration that we can continue to build upon the foundation that has been laid and consistently compete for championships for our fans and the City of Columbus.”

“The Columbus Crew is a fantastic Club with the Haslam, Johnson and Edwards families, Tim Bezbatchenko, our leadership, coaches, staff and players from the First Team to Crew 2 and the Academy, and it is an honor to be the head coach and sign this contract extension,” said Nancy. “We have a clear vision as a Club of what we want to do and how we can achieve it, and we can continue to write our story and evoke emotions. With humility, I’m very proud of what we have accomplished together during the past year, but most importantly, I am pleased with how we are focused on growing together and working to improve as a team and individuals.”

Nancy in 2023 became the first Black head coach to win the MLS Cup. With the Crew, he owns a 24-10-13 (.649) overall MLS record, including a 5-1-0 (.833) mark in the postseason. Last week, Nancy directed the Black & Gold to the franchise’s first Concacaf Champions Cup Semifinals berth. The Club defeated Houston Dynamo FC in the Round of 16 (2-1 aggregate) and Tigres UANL in the Quarterfinals (2-2 aggregate, 4-3 on penalties), becoming the only MLS team to defeat a LIGA MX club in the tournament’s history after hosting and not winning the first leg of the series and the first to claim a penalty shootout victory against a LIGA MX side in Mexico.

In addition to galvanizing team success last year, Nancy and his staff helped player development that resulted in forward Cucho Hernández being named the MLS Cup MVP and to the 2023 MLS Best XI – the first Crew player to earn the honor since Jonathan Mensah in 2020 – and Midfielder Aidan Morris’ recognition as a 2023 MLS All-Star and Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR selection. Cucho (Colombia), Morris (USA), Goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen (Guatemala), Defender Steven Moreira (Cape Verde), Forward Jacen Russell-Rowe (Canada), Goalkeeper Patrick Shulte (USA) and Midfielder/Defender Sean Zawadzki (USA) also received international call-ups to their respective senior national teams in the past year.

As an MLS head coach, Nancy is 51-30-28 (0.596) in MLS regular season play and 6-2-0 (0.750) in postseason competition. He managed CF Montréal during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Nancy in 2022 led Montréal to a club-best regular season record of 20-9-5 (0.662). With 65 total points, Montréal finished second in the Eastern Conference and third in MLS, only two points shy of the Supporters’ Shield winners. Montréal’s 20 wins ranked second in the league, and his team finished in the top five for goals scored (63). Montréal went unbeaten in eight consecutive matches twice from mid-March to mid-May and from mid-July to late-August. They also posted a 11-1-3 record in the final 15 matches of the regular season. Nancy finished second in voting for the 2022 Sigi Schmid Coach MLS of the Year award, just one-10th of a percentage point behind the Philadelphia Union’s Jim Curtain.

Under Nancy’s tutelage, six players were named to Canada’s final roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Nancy was hired as Montréal’s head coach on March 8, 2021. In his first season, Montréal lifted the Voyageurs Cup with a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship.

In 2011, Nancy joined Montréal’s Academy and over the course of 10 years held head coaching roles for the U-18s (2011-13), the U-21s (2014), and the U-16s (2014-15) before being elevated to First Team assistant in January of 2016 prior to his promotion to head coach. He holds USSF Pro, UEFA A and Canadian Soccer Association A licenses. In 2014, he obtained the Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) diploma.

Born in France, Nancy had a professional playing career that spanned 10 years. From 1995-2005, the defender represented French clubs Sporting Club Toulon, Beaucairois, Raon-l’Etape, Ivry, Noisy-le-Sec, Chatellerault and Orleans.

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