BY MICHAEL PENG
Jonny Steele’s tenure with Minnesota United FC has come to an abrupt end.
The 29-year-old midfielder from Northern Ireland, who signed with the club in January, will not return to the NASL side in the Fall Season, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Steele, who has had stints with MLS clubs Real Salt Lake and New York Red Bulls, appeared in five games — started in four — for Minnesota during the Spring Season but did not score a single goal nor tally an assist in the 328 minutes he played.
Steele’s departure becomes the latest hit to Minnesota’s midfield, as Jamie Watson has already been out with a torn ACL and U.S. National Team call-up Miguel Ibarra has transferred to Liga MX side Club Leon.
Here are some other notes and news from around the league:
STRIKERS BRING BACK KRONSTEINER AT THE HELM
Günter Kronsteiner is back in Florida.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers announced Tuesday that Kronsteiner is returning to serve as the club’s head coach once again. The news comes three weeks after the club parted ways with Marcelo Neveleff nine games into the season and seven months after Kronsteiner was originally booted from the job.
Kronsteiner led the Strikers through 14 games of the 2013 Fall Season and then guided them to the NASL championship final in 2014. He will join the team in time for the club’s friendly against Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors at Lockhart Stadium on Wednesday.
“We are thrilled that Günter is returning,” Strikers managing partner Ricardo Geromel said in the press release. “We remain convinced that the team possesses tremendous potential. Under Günter’s leadership, we expect to realize this potential.”
“I am excited to come back to ‘my’ club,” Kronsteiner said. “I am especially eager to reconnect with the fans with whom I have a special relationship. I look forward to getting to know the 2015 Strikers players and figuring out how to climb the standings as fast as possible.”
Defender Iván Guerrero, who also took over as interim coach for the Strikers during the coaching search over the last few weeks, will remain on the team roster while serving as Kronsteiner’s assistant for the remainder of the season.
Also returning is Raoul Voss, who served as Kronsteiner’s assistant from 2013-14. He will resume the same position in time for Wednesday’s contest.
JACKSONVILLE ARMADA AND HOYOS AGREE TO EXTENSION
Guillermo Hoyos will get the chance to lead the Jacksonville Armada FC all the way through the 2019 NASL fall season.
The club announced Tuesday that it has signed the first-year head coach to a contract extension, though the terms of the agreement are not disclosed per club policy.
“Not only does this extension demonstrate our owner’s commitment to the city of Jacksonville, it also provides the consistency and continuity needed to continue to grow and improve our club,” Armada general manager Darío Sala said. “Guillermo is an amazing coach and developer of talent. He’s an integral part of the long-term plans of this organization, and I’m confident he will lead the Armada FC to a championship.”
Hoyos has had a fairly successful start in leading the expansion side so far, guiding the Armada to a sixth place finish in the Spring Season with a 3-3-4 record.
Hoyos arrived at Jacksonville as the club’s co-head coach in January, but was officially named head coach in June following the spring season. His previous coaching stints include a tenure at FC Barcelona B from 2001-05, where he was the head coach for a squad that featured a young Lionel Messi.
What do you think of Jonny Steele’s departure? How do you feel about Kronsteiner returning to the Strikers? Do you think Hoyos’ extension is a good move by the Armada?
Share your thoughts below.
Some nice coaching moves, hopefully all these releasings going on around the league leads to some bigger signings this window.
I couldn’t believe NYRB didn’t hold onto Steele, now an NASL team doesn’t want him. What the H?
Glad to see the Armada extend coach Hoyos’ contract. It’s a new team but they were competitive in the Spring Season. I’m really excited to see what they can do in the Fall.
Good news for the Strikers, bad news for everyone else in the NASL.