Leeds United name former Manchester United coach Chris Armas as Jesse Marsch's assistant in another show of faith

Jesse Marsch has turned to a former team-mate with an extensive coaching cv to be his new assistant at Leeds United.
NEW FACE: Chris ArmasNEW FACE: Chris Armas
NEW FACE: Chris Armas

The appointment of former United States international Chris Armas – subject to a work permit – is another show of confidence in Marsch from the Elland Road board, just as links with another American, midfielder Weston McKennie, are.

Armas played alongside Marsch in Chicago Fire's midfield and like him has had a global coaching education in the Red Bull network of clubs. That has also allowed him Premier League experience, which added to the attraction of the 50-year-old.

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Upon retiring from playing in 2007, Armas initially worked as a PE teacher before joining the Fire's coaching staff as an assistant. He also had four years as the head women's coach at Adelphi University.

Armas linked up with Marsch again as his assistant at New York Red Bulls, succeeded him as manager when the latter joined another Red Bull team, in Salzburg, three years later.

He was sacked after two years in charge of his home city club, but got a new job with their Major League Soccer rivals Toronto.

That proved short-lived but his work within the Red Bull network impressed Ralf Rangnick, who took him to Manchester United to work alongside him as interim manager last season.

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The German described him as "not only very loyal but also very helpful" but he left when a new regime came into Old Trafford in the summer.

“He will be a fantastic addition to the staff, he brings a wealth of experience from across the world and having worked closely with him previously, I am sure he will help us to improve every day," said Marsch.

In his time as a head coach, Armas used the same intense, high-pressing style of play favoured by Marsch and most who have worked for Red Bull clubs.

Despite the antipathy between the Uniteds of Leeds and Manchester, director of football Victor Orta saw Armas' time at Old Trafford as a real positive.

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“We always have constant ideas to improve the team around Jesse and with Chris it is a perfect fit, they have both worked together in the past and he has experience of working in the Premier League," he said.

"Chris was one of the best ever players in the history of the United States and his determination and skills will add value to our club and we are really happy he has joined us.”

Armas replaces Mark Jackson, who left in December to take over at Milton Keynes Dons.

Leeds have had a considerable churn of coaches since Marsch's appointment in February, but this appointment is yet another sign of the hierarchy's faith in the American despite misgivings on the terraces.

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Marsch initially brought his long-term ally Franz Schiemer, along with experienced coach Cameron Toshack. Toshack remains on the coaching staff but Schiemer's role is now one as a consultant.

Rene Maric replaced Schiemer as assistant in the summer and Michael Skubala joined as under-21 coach to allow Jackson to concentrate on first-team matters.