Qui est Laurent Courtois? Another man supposedly from nowhere, Courtois, has made a name for himself within the realms of MLS Next Pro. The man from Lyon led Columbus Crew II to championship glory and earned himself MLS Next Pro coach of the year honours.
Youth development is in his CV. Like Nancy, Courtois has spent most of his coaching career at the academy level. He has been an assistant coach for LA Galaxy II and head coach for the Lyon Academy, Columbus Crew Academy and Columbus Crew II.
Mo Farsi is a beast, and Jacen Russell-Rowe is showing promise. These are seemingly random statements, but the former Cavalry FC fullback and TFC II forward can thank Courtois for their rise. Both Canadians were vital in CLB Crew II’s championship drive and are now MLS champions. Courtois and Nancy have an eye for talent and know how to get the best out of players.
Courtois’ vibe matches with Bleu-Blanc-Noir. The Lyonnais has gained MTL’s attention mainly for his ability in player development. The club has focused on producing talent as opposed to attracting big names. With his background, he knows how to get the best out of ballers.
The current MTL squad is filled with young talents ready to reach a new level, such as Bryce Duke, Nathan Saliba, Mathieu Choinièré and Jonathan Sirois.
An identity must be established. Courtois is also tasked to establish an identity and activate the fans. Not only to win on the pitch but also to win the supporters' trust and to gain their energy. If you can read French, this RDS article gives complete insight.
So, can Laurent Courtois survive a season in Montréal? So far, Laurent Courtois is the best fit to replicate Wilfried Nancy’s success. It seems like he has what it takes to re-establish a club identity among players and supporters. Moreover, his eye for development is what excites most people.
It’s about winning. Most importantly, the front office must be patient and give Courtois time to establish his philosophy. With a two-year contract, it seems like CF Montréal is still holding on to the bad habit of short-term vision. Football takes time. Nancy winning a cup within one season is an anomaly.
Lastly, no one in Montréal should compare Courtois with Nancy. Let the man do his thing. Please.