Charlotte FC part ways with head coach Christian Lattanzio

Christian Lattanzio - Charlotte FC

Charlotte FC have parted ways with head coach Christian Lattanzio, the club announced Wednesday. Assistant coach Andy Quy also departs with immediate effect.

Lattanzio, who guided Charlotte to their first-ever Audi MLS Cup Playoffs berth in 2023, leaves after posting a 24W-24L-15D record across all competitions during his year-and-a-half in charge.

“We would like to thank Christian and Andy for their time at the club,” CLTFC owner David Tepper said in a statement. “They helped guide us through the last 18 months and we are all appreciative of their contributions to Charlotte FC.”

Originally an assistant under Miguel Ángel Ramírez, Lattanzio replaced the Spanish manager 14 games into The Crown's inaugural 2022 season, leading them to an 8W-10L-2D record the rest of the way.

The club removed Lattanzio's interim tag before the 2023 campaign, as Charlotte went 10W-11L-13D and qualified for the playoffs via a Wild Card spot (No. 9 in Eastern Conference). Their postseason trip was short-lived, falling 5-2 at the New York Red Bulls.

“A thorough and comprehensive search for the club’s next head coach will begin immediately,” sporting director Zoran Krneta said. “Out of respect to all prospective candidates, we will not have further comment at this time.”

With Lattanzio's exit, Charlotte are now seeking their third manager in as many years.

“We undertook an offseason evaluation of our organization and we’re confident this move is in the best interest of the club for 2024 and beyond,” said club president Joe LaBue. “Our club will continue to be ambitious and strive to progress both on and off the pitch.”

Big picture

Charlotte announced their year-end roster moves on Oct. 30, declining options for six players while midfielder Derrick Jones and forward Justin Meram are out of contract and eligible for free agency. That leaves 26 players still under contract for 2024, including Designated Players Karol Swiderski, Kamil Józwiak and Enzo Copetti.

Barring outbound transfers or trades over the Primary Transfer Window, The Crown's core roster remains intact for next season. If their three DPs remain in Charlotte through the winter, the club's next head coach will need to figure out how to get all three firing at the same time.

Swiderski, the club's all-time scoring leader (22 goals), has produced consistently over his two seasons in Charlotte but has frequently changed positions, particularly after the January 2023 arrival of out-and-out striker Copetti, who posted 6g/2a in 26 appearances (23 starts). Józwiak has yet to find consistent form from the wing, tallying 2g/10a since signing in the spring of 2022.

Club captain Ashley Westwood anchors Charlotte's midfield, while 22-year-old center back Adilson Malanda leads the backline as a key cog for the present and future. After making three more additions in the Secondary Transfer Window – Jere Uronen, Brecht Dejaegere and Scott Arfield – Charlotte will look to build on this year's Wild Card-round exit from the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.