With the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro 2022 season nearing its start, 21 clubs competing in the new professional league are busy building technical staffs and rosters.

This week, three MLS clubs – Columbus Crew, FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo FC – recently named head coaches for their third-division teams.

Here’s a look at the hires.

The first head coach of Columbus Crew 2 is Laurent Courtois, who most recently served as the Crew Academy Under-19 head coach.

Courtois holds both a U.S. Soccer Federation ‘A’ license and a UEFA ‘A’ license. He joined the Crew as head coach for their U-17 team in 2019 before becoming their U-19 head coach in 2021.

“We are excited to announce Laurent’s promotion to Crew 2 head coach,” Crew 2 general manager Corey Wray said in a statement. “When looking for a coach for Crew 2, we wanted to find someone who was not only familiar with how we want to develop our youth players, but who also embodied the values of our club. We believe in Laurent’s ability to lead and shape the squad and look forward to seeing him take on this role. We are proud to promote Laurent and continue to provide growth opportunities for him and the coaching staff.”

Courtois previously served as an assistant coach for LA Galaxy II, as well as head coach for French side Olympique Lyonnais Academy – which he attended as a youth player – at the U-16 and U-15 levels. Courtois also worked as an assistant coach for the Olympique Lyonnais Academy’s U-17 squad.

Courtois played for Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy during a career that spanned 16 years and included stops at Levante UD in Spain; AC Ajaccio, Toulouse FC, FC Istres and Grenoble Foot 38 in France; and West Ham United in England.

North Texas SC, FC Dallas' MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, hired Pa-Modou Kah as the second head coach in club history.

Kah joins North Texas SC from the Canadian Premier League after leading Pacific FC to the 2021 title, and was named CanPL Coach of the Year during his second year with the club.

“I’m very excited to join North Texas SC and to continue my development as a coach,” Kah said in a statement. “I would like to thank André Zanotta and the Hunt family for this opportunity and for believing in me. I’m looking forward to lead this young group of men, contribute to their development and help them reach their goals.”

Kah began his coaching career with Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 in 2016 before becoming an assistant coach with Whitecaps FC’s first team. In 2018, Kah joined FC Cincinnati, first as a scout before transitioning to an assistant coaching role for the club’s inaugural season.

Kah, who holds a UEFA A coaching license and a U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) B license, ended his well-traveled playing career with the Whitecaps in 2016.

Kenny Bundy is the inaugural head coach of Houston Dynamo 2.

He recently served as head coach of the Houston Dynamo Academy U-23 team, managing them through a pilot season in 2021.

"We are thrilled to have Kenny lead Dynamo 2 as the head coach. During Kenny’s six years with the Dynamo Academy, he has proven to be an excellent bridge between the Academy and the first team. He is a collaborator who understands how to develop players and how [Dynamo coach] Paulo [Nagamura] wants to play the game,” Dynamo assistant general manager Nick Kowba said in a statement. “The MLS NEXT Pro initiative gives high-potential players the platform to adapt to a professional environment and prepare for the demands of our first team. We are extremely excited to see Kenny lead our first group of young men in this project.”

Bundy has been with Houston since 2016, serving as head coach of both their U-23 and U-19 teams. In addition, Bundy coached Brazos Valley Cavalry FC to the 2019 USL League Two Mid-South Division Title and an appearance in that season’s conference final.

Bundy played more than 120 games as a professional in the USL and MISL from 2003-09, earning USL2 All-League First Team honors in 2009 with the Wilmington Hammerheads.