Manchester United have appointed Chris Armas as an assistant coach to Ralf Rangnick.
Armas replaces Michael Carrick after spending most of his coaching career in Major League Soccer (MLS).
The name might seem unknown to most fans, so let’s take a further look at the American’s coaching history and style.
Armas joined the Chicago Fire coaching staff in 2007 served as head coach of the women’s team at his old college, Adelphi University in New York, from 2011-14.
The Athletic’s recent article talks about his winning personality and competitive spirit: “Those who have worked with Armas say he is a competitor.”
“He has an infectious positivity about him and shares many of Rangnick’s tactical philosophies but can relate to and engage with any type of person and any type of player”.
The American was Jesse Marsch’s assistant at New York Red Bulls before succeeding him in 2018.
He guided New York Red Bulls to the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals, losing to eventual winners Guadalajara 1-0 on aggregate.
His team modelled a playing style similar to Rangnick’s philosophy. His style includes relentless pressing high up the pitch and making quick ball recoveries to facilitate counterattacks.
In Chris Armas's only full season as a head coach in MLS, the New York Red Bulls had the fastest ball recoveries in the league, with the highest press, and played the most direct attacking style. Armas may have boosted their attacking output as much as 0.24 xG per game. Profile: pic.twitter.com/fDQL62UxXD
— smarterscout (@smarterscout) December 6, 2021
In 2019, his side was ranked the highest for ball recoveries in the entire league, playing an extremely direct brand of football.
Armas is a flexible coach who has implemented many formations during his tenure.
The American is said to be a brilliant man-manager and excels at getting the best out of his players. An advocate for youth development, Armas combines short term success with a long term plan.
This is basically the ideal #RBNY goal for head coach Chris Armas, showing both pressing urgency & attacking patience. Lovely goal.
Notice Valot's impact. He deflects the outlet pass, and plays Epps through for the secondary assist. They missed him last year. pic.twitter.com/5LIG4YJGkS
— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) February 17, 2019
A former midfielder himself, Armas is said to have an affinity for the position.
Former New York captain Dax Mcarthy called Armas a great reader of the game, especially in midfield:
“I remember Chris and me having numerous conversations and video sessions about little nuances of the position and areas of my game that I could improve as a defensive midfielder. The one area in particular that Chris excels at is how cerebral the game is, and needs to be, from a midfield position.”
United fans will be hoping that the American can use his experience to sort out the team’s underwhelming midfield issues.
Armas joins Sascha Lense as a part of Rangnick’s new staff at United. The Athletic reports that a further two are expected to be added in the coming weeks.