Cal United FC may not know where they are going to play next season, but the first-year club knows its boss.
SocTakes.com’s Nipun Chopra reports that Predrag “Preki” Radosavljević will be the first head coach of the Fullerton-based club.
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The report also says current technical director Eric Wynalda will continue in his gig for now despite running for U.S. Soccer Federation president.
That’s a bit ironic, as Cal United FC is slated to begin play in the NASL next season even though the league’s status remains hazy thanks to USSF regulations and pending legal action.
Capped 28 times by the USMNT, Preki has coached Toronto FC, Sacramento Republic, Chivas USA, and Saint Louis FC. He led the Republic to the 2014 USL title.
Move over, Ted Lasso, there could be a new Yank manager in England.
Bob Bradley is usually the name most often bandied about as an American able to take over a manager’s job in the Premier League, so it comes as a surprise that another Yank could earn a gig first.
Predrag “Preki” Radosavljević is a two-time MLS MVP and 1998 World Cup veteran. More importantly for our purposes, he’s just stepped down from his job as head coach of the USL champion Sacramento Republic to pursue a job “in the UK”.
[ MORE: Gold Cup today ]
And UK oddsmakers have him heading to Leicester City to take its vacant manager’s chair.
From the BBC:
The announcement saw British bookmakers install him as favourite for the Leicester City job.
“The opportunity ahead is a chance to challenge myself at the highest level of the game,” said Preki.
Leicester are the only team in the Premier League and Football League currently without a manager.
Nigel Pearson was sacked in June, despite guiding the Foxes to 14th in the Premier League in 2014-15.
That’s a big “wow” on this side of the Atlantic, and probably on the other as well. While it could easily be an assistant’s gig for Preki, the man has led Chivas USA and Toronto FC in addition to Sacramento. Could he be a shock hire for the Foxes? And how many fans would they gain Stateside by hiring a man who scored in the U.S. upset of Brazil at the 1998 Gold Cup?
Taking over for Preki is English boss Paul Buckle, the former Luton Town manager.
Head coach of the USL PRO’s Sacramento Republic, former U.S. national team winger Preki, has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons as the Californian capital continues to push for a Major League Soccer franchise.
Earlier this week reports surfaced that Sacramento’s President, the City’s Mayor and owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings were meeting MLS officials at the the All-Star Game in Portland to discuss potentially housing an expansion franchise in Northern Californian. The Kings ownership group is also said to be mulling over purchasing the impressive USL side.
[RELATED: Sacramento next in line for MLS expansion?]
Since then whispers have emerged from the meetings that things went extremely well and MLS officials will visit Sacramento in September to assess if the city is ready to join North America’s top flight.
In their inaugural season, the Republic have smashed USL attendance records and there’s a real hype and buzz around the franchise.
Their head coach caught up with our partners over at Soccerly and had the following to say when asked if they could potentially replace David Beckham’s franchise in Miami, who are continuing to have issues regarding a new stadium being built in Downtown MIA.
“I know we can go to the MLS. I know we’re ready, the club is ready on all fronts. We have a decent team and we wouldn’t be scared to go and play in the MLS with the addition of a few players… Sacramento is really ready. If Miami messes up we’re right around the corner. We’re waiting and we’re ready”.
Watch the video above to see Preki’s comments in full.
Sacramento or Miami? Which city would be better, and ready quicker, for MLS?
At a friendly between the English Premier League’s Norwich City and Mexican second division team Dorados de Sinaloa in Sacramento, Calif., the new USL Pro team in the city announced its name as Sacramento Republic FC.
On Monday, the club announced that Predrag Radosavlijevic — better known as United States national team legend “Preki” — would be the team’s first head coach. The Sacramento Republic begins play in 2014.
The team also posted an explanation for the club name and crest on its website.
On the name:
“A Republic represents people from all walks of life, colors, ethnicities, and creeds coming together as one. Its supreme power rests in its citizens, and as such this club is empowered through you.”
On the bear:
“A symbol of ‘strength and unyielding resistance,’ our bear is inspired by the official state animal and the centerpiece of the flag that is also known as ‘The Bear Flag.’”
And finally, on the motto:
“Those familiar with the rich history of Sacramento know that our city motto isUrbs Indomita. Translation? The Indomitable City – a name associated with Sacramento since its infancy because its citizens would not easily be subdued. They did not surrender to fire, floods or disease. They desired and were destined to thrive, literally moving rivers and raising their city to create a vibrant community. That fighting spirit is no different over 160 years later and lives on with Sacramento Republic FC.”
Noble intentions, but did the club pull it off? Let us know your thoughts.