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NASL Notes: Lagos becomes Minnesota’s sporting director; Indy hires Hankinson; and more

Manny Lagos, Carl Craig by NASL

After another season in which head coach Manny Lagos took Minnesota United to the NASL playoffs, the MLS-elect side has opted to enhance his role.

United announced on Thursday that Lagos would become the club’s first sporting director. With that role, Lagos will assume all responsibility for player recruitment, acquisition and development. In addition to this change, Lagos’ assistant Carl Craig has been handed the reigns as head coach.

Lagos has spent the last six years as the manager in Minnesota, earning NASL Coach of the Year honors in both 2011 and 2014. The former MLS player led the team to five postseason appearances, with United winning the 2011 Soccer Bowl.

Craig has also been with the team for quite some time, joining in 2010. Craig, a Newcastle native, holds top coaching licenses from UEFA, England, Netherlands, the U.S. and Italy.

Here are some more news and notes from around NASL:


After a less than satisfactory finish in the 2015 NASL season, a new, experienced head coach is exactly what Indy Eleven have been looking for.

The Indianapolis team found what they were looking for in Tim Hankinson, who was announced as the new Eleven manager on Wednesday.

Hankinson has been coaching at the collegiate and professional levels for 36 years, with a glutton of experience in the American game. In seven years of MLS experience between the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the Colorado Rapids, Hankinson took his teams to the playoffs five times.

More recently, Hankinson took the San Antonio Scorpions to the regular season NASL title in 2012.


After missing out on a chance to go to the NASL Championship match in 2015, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers opted to go in a new direction in the head coaching position.

Caio Zanardi, who has been the general manager of the Strikers since July, has been appointed the south Florida club’s new head coach.

The Brazilian’s responsibilities at the club will also include player development, as Zanardi looks to shape the team’s youth setup.

The experienced soccer mind has spent time studying under successful European coaches including Carlo Ancelotti, Louis Van Gaal, and Fabio Capello.

Before joining the Strikers, Zanardi was most recently the head coach of the Brazil U-17 National Team, leading his side to the 2015 South American U-17 championship.


Two weeks after unveiling Paul Daglish as its new head coach, Ottawa Fury FC has announced the retention of two vital coaches from its 2015 NASL campaign.

Assistant coach Martin Nash and goalkeeper coach Bruce Grobbelaar will both stay on with the Fury, despite the switch at the head coaching position.

Grobbelaar, the Liverpool legend, joined the Fury in August 2014. The decorated South African goalkeeper coached Romuald Peiser to the 2015 Golden Glove award, as well as assisted in the development of the Fury’s Marcel DeBellis and Waleed Cassis.

Nash has been at the club since October 2013, after finishing a professional career that cultivated in 38 Canadian National Team caps.

What do you think of the NASL coaching news? Will Lagos retain his role as Minnesota makes the switch to MLS? Can Zanardi help the Strikers to an elusive championship?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “… after finishing a professional career that cultivated in 38 Canadian National Team caps.” And just what was he cultivating? My guess is spinach.


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