Canadian Duo Join Premier League Managerial Ranks
Verde Takes Over at The Hawthorns
In an intriguing move, West Bromwich Albion have appointed 31 year-old Carlos Verde as the club's new manager. Verde, a versatile defender who was capped 27 times for the Canadian national side, ended his professional career in 2011 after a horrific knee injury suffered while playing on a horrendous pitch for the Canadian national team against St. Kitts.
A rookie manager whose only experience is a six-month stint as an assistant with Portuguese minnows Belenenses, Verde is seen as a shot-in-the-dark by most West Brom fans, but they're willing to give him time.
"Verde as a player was something special," says West Brom supporters' spokesperson Ian Grisham. "Stints in La Liga, Serie B, and the npower Championship...he's certainly been around as a player, and we're definitely hoping his playing abilities translate into managerial ones!"
The Baggies' board of directors have no illusions of European grandeur in their minds, and stated openly that they'll be happy if Verde can lead them, "To a respectable league position." Behind closed doors, however, The Baggies' board of directors will probably extend Verde's contract through next season as long as he avoids relegation.
McDonald Takes Charge at Carrow Road
In another surprising managerial move, Norwich have lured sought-after Italo-Canadian manager Tyler McDonald to Carrow Road, where he will face the tough challenge of saving the yellow minnows from relegation.
"We definitely targeted Tyler because of his impressive, if brief, managerial resume," commented Norwich chairman David McNally. "His work with Bologna, and getting them to a Europa League final, was mighty impressive. We hope he can eventually take us to Europe, though we know that dream is far in the future."
Aside from his golden tenure with Serie A's Bologna, McDonald has also had brief stints managing Bursaspor (Turkey), Peterborough (League One), and Mallorca B (Spanish 3rd tier).
The 37 year-old Italo-Canadian is known to prefer an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, something that may bring about a radical change in footballing philosophy with the previously-conservative Canaries.
"I know what works for me as a manager," said McDonald from his summer home in Barrie, Canada. "I want to bring in fast, attacking players that will push the tempo on any defence in the world. Once we do that, we can begin to assess the rest of the team."
One thing is for sure after today's EPL managerial hirings - Canada is no longer a minnow on the international soccer scene.