MLS announced on Tuesday morning that FC Cincinnati’s head coach, Pat Noonan, has secured the MLS Coach of the Year award for the first time after a historic campaign.
Commissioner Don Garber cited Noonan’s “exceptional leadership” as one of the key reasons for receiving the award. The voters, including currently active players, selected media members, and Front Office/Technical Staff of the clubs, were in agreement, with Noonan receiving 45 percent of the total votes.
FC Cincinnati’s transformation under Noonan has been remarkable. After finishing at the bottom of the league standings from 2019 to 2021, Noonan took charge in 2021, and the team’s fortunes began to change.
Pat Noonan's exceptional leadership has transformed @fccincinnati and elevated the club to new heights. His leadership led to a 20-win season and a Supporters Shield🛡️to name a few.— Don Garber (@thesoccerdon) November 21, 2023
Congratulations to Pat on being named the Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year for 2023! pic.twitter.com/fOHvJDeZVg
He played a pivotal role in turning centerback Matt Miazga into the MLS Defender of the Year, and his influence is evident in Lucho Acosta’s leading position in the MVP race. FC Cincinnati, considered heavy favorites for winning the MLS Cup this season, has undergone a complete makeover under Noonan’s leadership.
Additionally, this marks the fourth consecutive year that an Eastern Conference head coach has received the award, and it is the first time a coach from FC Cincinnati has claimed this honor.
The season for the Eastern Conference side is still ongoing, as they are set to compete in the MLS Conference semifinals this weekend.
FC Cincinnati, led by MVP candidate Lucho Acosta, will face the 2022 finalists Philadelphia Union in a winner-take-all game, where both extra time and penalties are possible if needed. But Noonan’s squad advanced to this stage after eliminating Red Bull New York in Round One.