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Nashville SC Announces Departure of Head Coach Gary Smith

May 16, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Nashville SC News Release

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville Soccer Club announced today the departure of Gary Smith as the club's first head coach, concluding a seven-season tenure that witnessed the team reach the playoffs for six consecutive seasons in the USL Championship and Major League Soccer, and the Leagues Cup 2023 Final. Assistant Coach Steve Guppy departs the club as part of the change.

Nashville SC extends its gratitude to Smith and Guppy for their dedication and contributions to our team and wishes them and their families all the best in their future endeavors.

Former player and current Player Development Coach with Nashville SC Rumba Munthali will step up as Interim Head Coach while the club conducts the search for the next head coach.

Under Smith's leadership, Nashville SC emerged as a very organized and hard-to-beat team in both leagues. In the USL Championship, Smith guided the team to a 32-win record over two seasons, including two playoff appearances and a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2019. His transition to MLS with the club was seamless, leading Nashville to four consecutive MLS Cup Playoff appearances, a feat only achieved by two other teams in the league's history.

Smith departs Nashville SC with an MLS record of 52 wins, including three playoff victories, as the club reached the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs four times, the Eastern Conference Semifinals twice and boasted the least number of goals conceded in the 2023 season, tied with Seattle Sounders FC.

Highlighting Smith's tenure, Nashville SC also made a historic run to the Leagues Cup 2023 final, the first-ever final appearance for the club in a major tournament, ensuring a place in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.

Smith's coaching career began in his native England, where he transitioned from a professional player to roles in technical staff at several clubs in the different tiers before making a significant impact in American soccer with the Colorado Rapids, where he won the MLS Cup in 2010, and later, with Atlanta Silverbacks FC in the NASL.

The Boys in Gold will play their second match in four days this weekend when Atlanta United FC visits GEODIS Park on Saturday, May 18 at 12:30 p.m. CT presented by Renasant for MLS Rivalry Week presented by Continental Tire. Following the match, which serves as Active-Duty and Veterans Appreciation Day, Nashville SC's Special Olympics Unified Team will face off against Atlanta United FC's Unified Team on the GEODIS Park pitch. Tickets are available.

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