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Former Aston Villa boss Smith beats Lampard to Charlotte job

Former Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has been appointed as the new head coach of MLS outfit Charlotte FC, seeing off competition from Frank Lampard.

Smith led his boyhood club Villa to promotion from the Championship in 2019 and oversaw their first two campaigns back in the Premier League before being sacked in November 2021.

He has since had spells at Norwich City and Leicester City, failing to prevent either club from suffering relegation from the top flight in the last two seasons, but he is now set to test himself outside the English game for the first time.

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On Tuesday, Charlotte announced Smith had signed a “multi-year” contract with the club, becoming their third full-time head coach ahead of their third campaign in MLS.

Former Chelsea and Everton boss Lampard – who played in MLS with New York City FC – had been strongly linked with the role and he, along with Seattle Sounders assistant Freddy Juarez, was reportedly among the final candidates for the role.

Charlotte fired Smith’s predecessor Christian Lattanzio despite reaching the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in 2023, having been thrashed 5-2 by the New York Red Bulls in the wild-card round after finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference.

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