CF Montréal name Hernán Losada head coach

Hernan Losada

Hernán Losada is back on MLS sidelines, with CF Montréal naming the Argentine as their new head coach on Wednesday.

Losada, 40, previously served as head coach of D.C. United from 2021 until six games into the 2022 season. He had a 15-month tenure with the Black-and-Red, amassing a 16W-19L-5D record.

Montréal had the last remaining managerial opening this winter after it was announced on Dec. 6 Wilfried Nancy had departed to become the Columbus Crew’s head coach.

“We were looking for a coach who could continue the sporting project we have been building since my arrival in 2020 and we are convinced that Hernán checks all the boxes at this level,” CF Montréal VP and chief sporting officer Olivier Renard said in a release.

“With the philosophy put forward at the club over the past few years, both on and off the field, we are very pleased with our choice.”

Losada's background

Before arriving in North America, Losada led Belgian club Beerschot and helped them earn promotion to the top flight. His D.C. United teams were known for a high-pressing, up-tempo style – one that, at times, reportedly created rifts within the playing ranks.

Losada’s preferred formation, one that leaned heavily on wingbacks and a three-man backline, bears a striking resemblance to how Nancy arranged Montréal. The Frenchman was in charge from 2021-22 after Thierry Henry departed following one season in charge.

Losada’s professional playing career spanned from 2003-18, tallying 101 goals and 55 assists in 370 games. He debuted for Independiente in his native Argentina before moving to Europe and playing mainly in Belgium.

“It is with great excitement, motivation and gratitude that I approach this new opportunity,” Losada said in a release. “I am eager to put all my energy, enthusiasm, and abilities into this great project.

“It is even more special to be able to join a group composed of people with extensive experience like Olivier [Renard], Gabriel [Gervais] and Vassili [Cremanzidis], who have built, with the participation of the entire club, an identity and a work philosophy focused on youth development, offering them opportunities for growth both on and off the field," he continued.

“My mission is to continue in this same direction, offering an offensive and positive style of play while creating an energizing work environment to continue growing together and reach our goals.”

Winter of change

Montréal are coming off their best-ever MLS season, earning the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs. They smashed several team records since they joined the league in 2012, including:

  • 20 wins (previous record: 15 in 2015)
  • 65 points in the standings (previous record: 51 in 2015)
  • 63 goals scored (previous record: 52 in 2017)
  • Two eight-game unbeaten runs (previous record: three six-game unbeaten runs)

But it’s also a winter of profound change beyond Nancy leaving for Columbus. Versatile defender Alistair Johnston (to Celtic FC) and midfielder Ismael Kone (to Watford FC), two of their six Canadians at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, have been transferred abroad. Star attacker Djordje Mihailovic (to AZ Alkmaar) was also transferred to Europe, while captain Victor Wanyama – Montréal’s sole Designated Player in 2022 – is out of contract.

Montréal have added some reinforcements, acquiring defenders George Campbell (from Atlanta United) and Aaron Herrera (from Real Salt Lake) via intra-league trades. More signings are expected.

Montréal begin their 2023 season on Feb. 25 at Inter Miami CF (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).