MLS's FC Cincinnati name Stam head coach

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Former Dutch international Jaap Stam will be the new head coach of Major League Soccer's FC Cincinnati, general manager Gerard Nijkamp said Thursday.

Stam, 47, takes over the US club following managerial stints at Reading in England and PEC Zwolle and Feyenoord in his native Netherlands.

He stepped down as coach of Feyenoord last October after their 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Ajax, the club saying at the time they wanted him to stay.

Interim manager Yoann Damet has been at the helm of FC Cincinnati this season after coach Ron Jans resigned in February -- 12 days before the start of the 2020 campaign -- in the wake of a league investigation into an alleged racist remark.

"We are very happy and pleased to have Jaap Stam become FC Cincinnati's new head coach," Nijkamp, who worked with Stam at Zwolle, said. "He has an extensive background in being part of some of the most successful clubs in the world as a player and has also proven that he can guide teams through transitionary periods as a head coach.

"I strongly believe that Jaap can lead us through our next phase, to our new stadium, and help us achieve our goals in the future, making players better and bringing his knowledge and experience inside the club."

Stam played 67 times for the Netherlands but made his biggest impact as a player at Manchester United, with whom he won four Premier League titles and the club's famous 1999 treble of the league title, FA Cup and Champions League.

He also won the Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven in 1997 and played for Lazio, winning the Coppa Italia, and AC Milan.

The high point of his short coaching career so far was taking Reading to the playoffs in England's second-tier Championship in 2017.

It's not clear exactly when Stam will be able to join the club. He is awaiting visa confirmation as travel restrictions continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MLS suspended play on March 12. Players have recently been allowed back to club training facilities on an individual basis, with social distancing measures in place, but team and group training is still not allowed.