Sunday 19 January 2020

McGuinness faces uncertain future

MOVING: Jim McGuinness. Pic: Sportsfile
MOVING: Jim McGuinness. Pic: Sportsfile

JIM McGuinness has been sacked from his role as head coach of USL Eastern Conference team Charlotte Independence halfway through his first season with the club.

The former Donegal boss lasted just six months into the three-year contract he signed last December.

The professional side are currently second from bottom in an 18-team division, having won just one of 14 games under the Glenties man.

That victory came in April, when McGuinness oversaw his first victory of the campaign against Bethlehem Steel.

More recently, Charlotte had a goalless draw away to bottom-placed side Swope Park Rangers last weekend, a week after their heaviest defeat of the season so far, a 4-1 loss to Ottawa Fury.

The USL is effectively Division 2 to Major League Soccer

The club's decision leaves McGuinness facing an uncertain future in football management.

He does not currently have the qualifications to coach in Europe although he was one of 19 candidates to start the FAI's Uefa Pro Licence Course in January.

McGuinness began his code-crossing when he worked alongside Neil Lennon at Celtic before stepping down from Donegal in 2014 after their All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry.

He moved to Glasgow on a permanent basis to manage the Scottish side's Under 20s team.

McGuinness then joined Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan in July 2017 as an assistant manager to former Bayer Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt before ending his stint in Asia last January.

Commenting on the decision to part company with McGuinness, Independence president and managing partner Jim McPhilliamy said: "Jim McGuinness has improved our club in many ways, including bringing talent to our roster and instituting new training methodologies - both of which we hope to continue moving forward.

"As a club, our performance is measured on the pitch and collectively, we've fallen short.

"On behalf of ownership, front office and team, the Charlotte Independence organization thanks Coach McGuinness for his service to the club."

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