Laurent Courtois, formerly of the Columbus Crew, is close to an agreement to become the next head coach of CF Montreal, according to soccer journalist Tom Bogert. However, the club has not announced anything in this regard.

If we had to draw up a list of boxes that the candidate chosen to replace Hernán Losada at the helm of the team had to tick, Courtois would have more than enough of a profile.

Need a good coach to develop young players?

Courtois was head coach of the Columbus Crew’s reserve team, Crew II, in MLS Next Pro. He was champion of what is essentially America’s third division in 2022, and he was runner-up in 2023.

Quebecer Mohamed Farsi has enjoyed a direct ascension to the first team this year, having spent 2022 under him. Goalkeeper Patrick Schulte, drafted in the MLS SuperDraft in 2022 and champion with the reserves that year, won the MLS Cup with the big club in 2023.

Need an applicant who is familiar with the structure of North American soccer?

After his playing career in Europe (from 1996 to 2011), he moved to MLS to wear the colors of Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy. He then served as an assistant for the Galaxy II, went through the Lyon training center, returned to the United States to join the Crew Academy, then was named head coach of the Black reserve team

Need a candidate who knows the Montreal market and the CFM environment? Wilfried Nancy and all his assistants at the Crew were probably not stingy with comments about the Montreal club.

Need someone who speaks French to communicate with fans and the media? It goes without saying for this 45-year-old Lyonnais.

Born in 1978, Laurent Courtois began his career as a young player with Olympique Lyonnais in 1996. He had his first professional experience in 1998 with Ajaccio, in the French Ligue 2. He then traveled from France, to Spain (Levante), via England (West Ham), before joining MLS.

CF Montreal fired Losada on November 9, less than a year after he was hired. In front of the media, CFM sports director Olivier Renard listed a few elements which he believed explained why the organization needed to make a change. He spoke in particular of a disconnect with the club in terms of “style of play”, “non-qualification for the playoffs”, “disappointed players” and the “lack of desire” of the team during the last crucial match – lost – against the Crew.

Still, Courtois would become the 10th CFM coach in 13 seasons in MLS, after Jesse Marsch, Marco Schällibaum, Frank Klopas, Mauro Biello, Rémi Garde, Wilmer Cabrera, Thierry Henry, Wilfried Nancy and Losada. At the end of the season, Renard expressed what the hiring criteria would be for a driver who could establish himself:

“[The candidate] will have to want to be here, listen to our philosophy and put it to work on the ground. We want to see the grinta in the players, from the first to the last match. He must also have respect for our supporters. »