MLS side St Louis City axe head coach Carnell

St Louis City head coach Bradley Carnell. | EPA

St Louis City head coach Bradley Carnell. | EPA

Published Jul 2, 2024


Smiso Msomi

Former Bafana Bafana man Bradley Carnell was sacked by Major League Soccer club St Louis City on Monday.

The 47-year-old head coach was in his third season with the club, having joined in January 2022, and has been relieved of his duties after indifferent results.

The club’s technical director, John Hackworth, has been appointed as the manager on an interim basis as the club begins the search for a new head coach.

“Given Bradley’s many contributions to the club, this was not an easy decision,” said the club’s sporting director, Lutz Pfannenstiel, in a statement.

“Unfortunately, based on our year two results to date, we believe a coaching change is in the best interest of the club as we regroup and look to improve both our performance and our results.”

City president and general manager Diego Gigliani also weighed in on the club’s decision to seek a new coach.

“On behalf of everyone at City SC, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Bradley for his time with the club. He was integral to the club’s success during our historic first campaign,” he said.

“Bradley, Claudia and their family embraced St Louis and we wish them nothing but the best moving forward.”

Carnell managed 62 matches at the club and recorded 22 wins, 15 draws and 25 losses (a huge chunk of them this season).

He departed with the club in12th place in the MLS Western Conference having lost six, drawn three and won one of their past 10 games in the league.

During the club’s inaugural campaign with Carnell at the helm, they finished as the 2023 Western Conference regular-season champions.

St Louis City became the first expansion team to win a conference regular-season title and record 17 wins (post-shoot-out era).

Carnell leaves behind fellow South African man Njabulo Blom, who joined the club in January last year.

The 25-year-old midfielder has had an injury-interrupted 2024 campaign and has been limited to just 11 appearances this season, having featured in 28 matches last year.

He recently scored his first goal of the new season (a second since arriving at the club) in his side’s 4-3 loss to the Vancouver White Caps, Carnell’s last game in charge.

Bongokuhle Hlongwane is also flying the South African flag high in the US, in the colours of Minnesota United FC.

Although not quite on the same level as his remarkable campaign last year, the 24-year-old Bafana international has racked up nine goal involvements in his 18 appearances in the 2024 season.

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