Report: Nesta to be hired as new Impact coach

Alessandro Nesta

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The Montreal Impact didn’t reportedly have to look very far when they decided to hire a new coach for next season.

According to a report in Sports Illustrated, Alessandro Nesta is set to become the next head coach of the Impact, replacing Marco Schallibaum after one season in charge. The 37-year-old Nesta announced last month that he would retire at the end of the season, which came on Thursday in a 3-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo in the knockout round of the MLS Cup playoffs.

The report states that Nesta was a favorite of Impact owner Joey Saputo and in interviews earlier this year, the legendary Italian defender admitted that he wanted to go into coaching when he eventually retired from playing.

Nesta surprised everyone in Italy when, instead of retiring in 2012, he joined the Impact in July of that year on an 18-month contract. Despite his level of experience and talent, it was clear to see that Nesta wasn’t the same player who graced the pitch for Lazio, AC Milan, and the Italian National Team at the highest level.

During his time with the Impact, Nesta played 34 times in all competitions, failing to score a goal but recording one assist. This season, the Impact had the best record in MLS all the way into August, but had a torrid finish to the season, losing seven of their last ten games to crash out of the playoffs.

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What do you think of this report? Do you believe Nesta is the right choice? Do you see him being successful as a manager in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.

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27 Responses to Report: Nesta to be hired as new Impact coach

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Okay, this is interesting. A very, very smart player. A reason to watch the Impact…

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      How good’s his English? A player just does a universal job and you can muddle through but a coach needs to be able to communicate his knowledge.

  2. TomG says:

    Always risky to hire a guy with no coaching experience at all no matter how well suited they seem to be (see Ryan Nelson). Even Perke had a coaching job the year before. That being said, there isn’t a single player in the history of MLS that has a better pedigree than this man. The best center back of his generation, baptized into tactical awareness the way only an Italian can be and having a good chunk of experience with MLS to boot. Hey, there’s serious potential there, certainly. They need to get him a big time, veteran, experienced assistant manager, but this could work.

    • downintexas says:

      As long as the owner puts a strong supporting cast around him, could be a great hire. Best of luck to him

    • Scott A says:

      At the minimum, it can’t be more pathetic than the Ben Olsen/DC United tandem.

      • MLSsnob says:

        That sounds like a challenge.

      • ThaDeuce says:

        Judging by this year or last year? Don’t forget the players our front office brought in! Wait. That his players and FO love him and want him next year after a year like this belies both where the blame and where the belief are going in d.c.

        I am super pumped about this hire. Glad Montreal brought him to America. I think centerbacks are like player/coaches anyway, and the fact that they can see the entire field and think and examine each day, I think this should be natural for him.

        • ThaDeuce says:

          And we added a piece of silverware this year, so it wasn’t completely wasted. Last year we beat who in playoffs?

      • Sean says:

        I’m glad DC will give Olsen another shot but his record was unacceptable. No coach worth his salt would end up with that record. Maybe it was an aberration. On the positive side, any coach that goes through that should become a better coach by having that experience.

    • Roy says:

      Best pedigree? Not to diminish Nesta’s accomplishments, but let’s not forget David Beckham, Lothar Matthaus, Thierry Henry, and Hristo Stoichkov all had great careers before MLS. It is easy to argue that they all contributed more to MLS than Matthaus, though.

    • Chris says:

      “baptized into tactical awareness the way only an Italian can be”? La Masia and the Dutch might take issue to that.

  3. PD says:

    I wonder how much of an open secret this was in the locker room this season? It sure would explain a lot in terms of how the team totally sh@t the bed in the second half of the season.

  4. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Yayyyy. Comes on the heals of your of your a**hole teams getting Houston’s coach suspended, but congrats! He’ll be fired by the third week. Watch

    • ThaDeuce says:

      Bold prediction.

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        He’s not a mastermind. It’ll take a hell of a back room staff collection to make him successful. It’ll have to be just the mix too. An old trusted euro tactician, preferably Italian. Another assistant that’ll show him how things are done around MLS and that’ll be the direct connection between him and the players, like a Robin Frasier type. And they’ll all have to buy into him, team and mgmt.

        • 2tone says:

          And you know that he isn’t a mastermind? He was a very, very intelligent and tactically gifted defender. Will that translate to coaching? In the past players that are very tactically intelligent generally become very good coaches.

  5. Jersey2Colorado says:

    I like… Taking a risk but at the same time seeing if a football genius can inspire a team.

  6. Beto says:

    Very interesting, also glad to see one these old dp’s sticking around after retirement.

    I was envisioning Montreal being that team with a new coach every year dispite varying success. This might or might not buck that trend

  7. dan says:

    coaching in the MLS takes some understanding of the “american” way of managing a very limited budget, playoff system, playing through summer months, some international dates. It is not EURO futbol. Can Nesta manage here? does he have the desire to learn the “MLS way”?

    Not sure….. also, will Saputo let him manage or will Nesta become his “mouth piece”.

    Good luck Nesta!

  8. Eugene says:

    Very interesting and a great development for MLS. I would have thought Nesta could easily have gotten a coaching gig in Italy with his pedigree/experience. Maybe not a head coach, but certainly an assistant coach. The fact that he chose to stay here is very positive for MLS.

    So what happens to Marco Schallibaum? I thought he did a pretty decent job for his one year in charge. Any other teams looking to bring him over?

  9. AcidBurn says:

    All 35+ year old Italian players, be on notice. Opportunities in MTL next year!

    Nesta: I want to buy xyz players. What is this salary cap you speak of?