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Montreal taps Swiss coach, Toronto set to hire Nelsen
January 7th, 2013 7:52PM

TAGS:  mls, montreal impact, toronto fc


[MLS COACHES] The Montreal Impact named 50-year-old Swiss Marco Schaellibaum, who has been a FIFA coaching instructor for the last two years, as its new new head coach. Toronto FC is set to replace interim coach Paul Mariner, announcing a press conference for Tuesday at which it is expected to name veteran New Zealand international Ryan Nelsen as its head coach. That would leave the New York Red Bulls as the only team without a head coach for the 2013 season, though Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa has reportedly emerged as the top candidate.

Schaellibaum coached for almost 10 years in the Swiss Super League for FC Basel, Young Boys, Servette, FC Sion, Schaffhausen and Bellinzona.

Schaellibaum, who began his coaching career in 1995, has been working in Qatar, Mongolia and South Korea for FIFA.

“I am very pleased and proud to be the head coach of the Montreal Impact,” said Schaellibaum in a statement. “From our very first discussion, I felt confidence with the management. The club is passionate about the game, like me, and is made up of people who are passionate as well and who want to go in the same direction. I watched a few of the team’s games from last season on video. We have a good roster with quality players and I saw a lot on character on the field. I will do all I can to help this team win.”

The Impact will kick off training camp Jan. 21 in Montreal.

Nelsen's hiring would reunite the 35-year-old defender with newly hired TFC president and general manager Kevin Payne, under whom he played at D.C. United before heading to Blackburn Rovers in 2005.

Nelsen, who plays for QPR in the English Premier League, was at first though to be in consideration for the position of player-assistant coach.

On Monday, Paulo Sousa announced he was leaving Hungarian club Videoton as head coach for "family reasons."

Scotsman Gary McAllister was believed to be the leading candidate to take over as Red Bulls head coach, but the sticking point was reported to be his salary demands.

Like Schaellibaum and McAllister, Paulo Sousa lacks experience in MLS, where imported coaches have historically struggled.

There have been reports that former U.S. national team captain Claudio Reyna, who has been working as U.S. Soccer's youth development director, would return to New York as an assistant to Paulo Sousa.

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