Major League Soccer team FC Cincinnati named Pat Noonan to be its next manager, the team announced on Tuesday.
The move sees Noonan reunited with Cincinnati GM Chris Albright. The two worked together at the Philadelphia Union for the past four years, where Albright was the technical director and Noonan was an assistant coach under manager Jim Curtin. The Union won the Supporters Shield in 2020 with the best regular season record.
Prior to his stint in Philadelphia, Noonan was an assistant with the LA Galaxy, working under Bruce Arena from 2013-16. He then followed Arena to the U.S. men's national team in 2017.
"I've been part of [MLS] for 18 years, you find ways to succeed. And the experiences along the way are valuable to figuring things out. So I think that's where my previous experience as a player and a coach in this league have positioned me to be ready to take over as the head coach for FC Cincinnati," Noonan said at a news conference on Tuesday.
As a player, Noonan spent the bulk of his professional career with the New England Revolution, where he made 135 league and playoff appearances, scoring 42 goals along with 30 assists over five seasons. During his time with the Revs, Noonan was part of three MLS Cup final sides, and won the 2007 U.S. Open Cup.
Following a brief stint in Norway with Aalesund, he latched on with the Columbus Crew, where he was part of their 2008 side that claimed MLS Cup and the Supporters Shield. He later went on to play with the Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids and LA Galaxy, where he was part of the team that won the 2012 MLS Cup.
At international level, Noonan made 15 appearances for the U.S. national team, scoring one goal in a 2005 friendly against Colombia.
"We prioritized MLS experience," Albright said. "We met with a lot of fantastic candidates, vetted a lot of candidates, had finalists come in the market, meet ownership. In the end, Pat was the best choice for the job. He rose above the other candidates."
Cincinnati has finished 24th, 26th and 27th overall in its three MLS seasons. It had four wins, 22 losses and eight draws this year.
Alan Koch coached Cincinnati in the lower-tier United Soccer League and remained with it for the start of its first MLS season in 2019. He was fired that May and replaced on an interim basis by assistant Yoann Damet, and Ron Jans was hired that August.
Jans quit in February 2020 after an investigation by MLS found he had used a racial slur in the locker room and made other troubling comments. Damet took over again on an interim basis, and former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam was hired that May.
Stam was fired Sept. 27 after a stretch that included one win, eight losses and seven draws in a 16-game span, and under-19 coach Tyrone Marshall took over as interim coach. General manager Gerard Nijkamp left in August and was replaced on Oct. 4 by Albright.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.