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York United wastes little time in search for new coach after firing Martin Nash

TORONTO — It appears York United FC has wasted little time in its search for a new coach.
Martin Nash, centre in green, watches his York United players at training in Toronto, April 29, 2024. Nash was fired as coach on Tuesday, May 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Neil Davidson

TORONTO — It appears York United FC has wasted little time in its search for a new coach.

Less than 22 hours after the announcement of Martin Nash's firing, president and GM Ricardo Pasquel said the Toronto-based Canadian Premier League club has already narrowed down the search for a replacement.

"An announcement is coming after the (June 1) Forge game," he told a virtual availability Wednesday. "We're just now working on some details and hopefully by then, early that week, we'll make the official announcement."

Pasquel said they have spoken to possible replacements in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

"We're narrowing it to a couple of candidates right now which I can tell you we are very excited about," he said.

Assistant coach Mauro Eustaquio, the older brother of Canadian international Stephen Eustaquio, has been named interim coach and will be in charge of Friday's game against the visiting Halifax Wanderers.

The coaching change comes just six games into the CPL season with York fifth in the eight-team league at 2-3-1. After losing its first two games, York has gone 2-1-1 and is coming off a 2-2 tie at Cavalry FC.

"It's just not about the six games (this season) … It's no secret that the team hasn't performed very well the last few years, or even back since 2020," said Pasquel.

"I think we have the best roster in the CPL. Nash and the previous administration did a good job on that. And right now we just have to maximize the potential," he added. "The players know this. The players know they have to give everything every day."

Pasquel and his two brothers, Eduardo and Miguel, are in their first season as York owners. Game Plan Sports Group, led by the brothers, bought the team in November from Canadian Soccer Business, whose investors are the CPL owners. CSB bought the club from the Baldassarra family in April 2023 as a precursor to finding new ownership.

Pasquel, a native of Mexico City who has moved his family to Toronto, said the coaching change was due to a "different perspective of seeing the game."

"We're looking for a team that plays with the ball on the ground, that plays quickly and plays smart … That's something that's easy to say but I think it's very hard to implement," he said.

The search is for a coach whose teams have played "an attractive brand of football that the crowds like."

Nash, who signed a new contract in December, had a 25-13-29 record with York since taking over in December 2021.

The 48-year-old Nash, the younger brother of former NBA MVP Steve Nash, won 38 caps for Canada from 1997 to 2008.


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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2024

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press