CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte Independence professional soccer team promoted Mike Jeffries from head coach to general manager and appointed Jim McGuinness as head coach.
Managing Partner Jim McPhilliamy said these changes are about building a more competitive club.
“With our stadium deal now in place at American Legion Memorial Stadium, our ownership group felt it was the right time to invest in new coaching talent and build for the future,” McPhilliamy said. “We’re able to retain the institutional soccer knowledge Mike Jeffries has accumulated over his lifetime in soccer, while bringing in a new perspective and coaching talent in Jim McGuinness.”
McGuinness, 46, brings coaching experience from Derry City FC, Celtic FC and most recently, as an assistant coach for Chinese Super League side Beijing Sinobo Guoan Football Club. Beijing improved from ninth in 2017 to fourth in 2018, also winning a fifth Chinese FA Cup Championship.
McGuinness also had a storied career as a Gaelic Football player and manager for Donegal, leading the club to their first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 20 years.
Jeffries transitions to general manager with more than 40 years of coaching and playing experience, which includes leading the Independence to consecutive playoff appearances in 2016 and 2017.
“I believe in what we have built in Charlotte with our style of play, as well as our ability to compete and succeed,” Jeffries said. “I am confident Jim will be able to build upon that platform.”
Outgoing General Manager Tom Engstrom will stay with the club as the senior advisor to McPhilliamy.
“We will continue to rely on Tom’s experience to move our team forward, especially on player identification and development,” McPhilliamy said.