MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Manchester United has confirmed that former Toronto FC head coach Chris Armas has joined interim manager Ralf Rangnick's staff.
Rangnick and Armas worked together in Red Bull's global soccer network, which has teams around the world. Armas was an assistant coach with the New York Red Bulls under Jesse Marsch when he and Rangnick, who went on to become head of global soccer for Red Bull, first met five years ago.
“Since then we have met quite frequently," Rangnick said Tuesday.
"(Armas) will hopefully be able to join us in our team in the next two days," he told a pre-match news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League game against Young Boys of Bern at Old Trafford.
Armas will be an assistant coach under Rangnick.
Armas was fired July 4 after a 1-8-2 start to his first season at TFC's helm. He was let go one day after a humiliating 7-1 loss at D.C. United. Assistant coach Javier Perez took over for the rest of the season before Bob Bradley was brought in as head coach and sporting director at season's end.
Rangnick has also hired sports psychologist Sascha Lense, who worked with him at Germany's Schalke and Red Bull Leipzig.
Armas was appointed Toronto's 10th head coach in January, succeeding Greg Vanney who is now running the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Armas, an elite defensive midfielder during a 12-year playing career with the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire, was let go as head coach by the Red Bulls in September 2020 with the team at 3-4-2.
After succeeding Marsch as head coach of the Red Bulls in July 2018, Armas led the team on a 12-3-3 run to clinch the 2018 Supporters' Shield. His overall record with New York was 33-27-11 in all competitions.
Armas had previously served as a Red Bulls assistant coach for 3 1/2 seasons, two of which were as the top assistant in charge of New York's attack.
The Galaxy drafted Armas seventh overall in the 1996 MLS supplemental draft. That same year, Los Angeles selected Vanney 17th overall in the inaugural MLS College Draft.
Armas, a former Long Island Rough Rider, spent two seasons in L.A. before being traded to the Chicago Fire ahead of their inaugural 1998 campaign. He helped the Fire win both the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup that year.
He was named to the MLS Best XI from 1998 through 2001 before being sidelined by a knee injury. He returned in 2003, earning MLS Comeback Player of the Year and MLS Best XI honours.
Armas, who captained Chicago from 2003 to 2007, played in 264 MLS regular-season games (260 starts) with two goals and 48 assists. He retired at the end of the 2007 season.
On the international front, Armas won 66 caps for the U.S. and was chosen U.S. Soccer's Male Athlete of the Year in 2000.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2021
The Canadian Press