Bradley Carnell Hired as St Louis CITY SC Head Coach

Bradley Carnell has been hired as the first head coach for Major League Soccer club St. Louis CITY SC. The MLS expansion club will begin play in the 2023 season. The hiring was announced by St. Louis CITY Sporting Director Lutz Pfannenstiel at a press conference on Wednesday. Carnell has been serving as an assistant coach for the New York Red Bulls for the last five years. Carnell also served as interim head coach of the Red Bulls for 14 games in 2020 following the firing of Chris Armas, leading the club to a 6-5-3 record and a playoff berth. Carnell is well versed in the high-pressure high-energy style of soccer the Red Bull organization prefers with all its teams around the globe – a philosophy Pfannenstiel is on record as preferable.

Carnell was recently linked with a move to Manchester United in the English Premier League to serve on the staff of newly hired coach Ralf Ragnick, but at that time Carnell stated his desire to stay in MLS to persue opportunities within the league. Ragnick is considered to be the primary orchestrator of the Red Bull style of play. He will now get to instill that philosophy with St. Louis CITY SC.

Carnell had a long playing career in his native South Africa and Germany. He was also on the roster for the South African national team for the 2002 World Cup. Before joining New York Red Bulls in his previous role, he served as an assistant coach for clubs in the South African top league.

He has an existing relationship with Pfannenstiel. He participated in an event sponsored by Pfannenstiel’s Global United FC foundation and has been listed as an ambassador of the foundation. This along with a distinct knowledge of the style of play pushed by the St. Louis CITY sporting director helped to catch the attention of Pfannenstiel.

Carnell was primary focus at New York Red Bulls was in the attack. Reportedly well-liked by that club and well-respected with the Red Bull organization, at the age of 44 Carnell will get his first permanent opportunity to guide a first team squad in a top professional league. He will be working with St. Louis CITY SC Director of Coaching John Hackworth and an as of yet unnamed coach of the organization’s MLS NEXT PRO lower division league team that will begin play in March of this year as well as the academy to steep the club’s system in Pfannenstiel’s philosophy from top to bottom.

Carnell’s hiring will bring intimate knowledge of MLS’ unique style of play and of the type of players that succeed in the league. He will also bring knowledge of what type of player will thrive in such a high-energy style of play that has occasionally been referred to as “energy drink soccer”. Carnell and Hackworth bring extensive knowledge of the domestic league, a trait that has been proven the past few years to be necessary to find success in Major League Soccer.

Soccer Capitol will have more details and analysis of the Bradley Carnell hiring and what it means for St. Louis CITY SC in our next podcast episode arriving next Wednesday on all major distributors of podcasts. You can also read more on the St Louis CITY SC official website.

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