USMNT, MLS legend Chris Armas to join Manchester United coaching staff

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USMNT and MLS legend Chris Armas will join Manchester United as an assistant coach.

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Armas, 49, will join the coaching staff of United’s new interim boss Ralf Rangnick, the German coach confirmed to the media on Tuesday. Rangnick also confirmed that Sascha Lense will join United as a sports psychologist.

Per the initial report from ESPN’s Taylor Twellman, Armas has been granted a work permit and will travel to England in the next few days to take up the position.

It is believed that Armas and Rangnick have been very close for many years, as the duo formed a relationship when Chris Armas was the New York Red Bulls assistant coach and head coach.

Big moment for American coaches

Fresh from the news that Jesse Marsch was fired by RB Leipzig after a disastrous first few months in charge of the Bundesliga club, this news about Armas heading to United will boost the profile of Americans coaches in Europe.

Marsch knew Rangnick well and coached the New York, Salzburg and Leipzig Red Bull teams, as well as totally buying in to Rangnick’s playing style and club philosophy.

Armas was Marsch’s assistant coach during his impressive spell in charge of the New York Red Bulls (they won the Supporters’ Shield in 2015 and then in 2018 when Armas took over from Marsch) and this hire suggests Rangnick is already calling plenty of shots when it comes to the future coaching philosophy and direction at Manchester United.

What could future of United look like?

It seems very likely that United will now be closely linked with the Red Bull family of clubs. At least loosely.

Rangnick has been the key man across the Red Bull family of clubs and other than Liverpool buying plenty of players from Leipzig and Salzburg in recent years, the RB group has had no real connection to the Premier League.

Until now.

Leipzig, New York and Salzburg all have a clear playing style and direction and this would be a very good thing for United to tap in to with Rangnick around.

This is also a huge opportunity for Armas who has been out of work since being fired by Toronto FC earlier this year after two poor stints as a head coach in MLS, but there’s no doubting he is a well-respected coach in the American soccer community and is obviously highly thought of by Rangnick too.

Armas knows Rangnick’s style of play well and it will be intriguing to see how United fare in the coming months, as Armas will be given a key role to play in developing their playing style under the Gegenpressing model.