Express & Star

Former Walsall and Aston Villa boss Dean Smith reveals story behind shock US move

Former Villa and Walsall boss Dean Smith has revealed how his shock move across the Atlantic to MLS side Charlotte FC came about.


Just seven months prior to accepting the role in North Carolina, Smith was relegated out of the Premier League with Leicester City, following on from a disappointing spell with Norwich City having left Villa Park in 2021.

And speaking to FourFourTwo magazine, the former Saddlers defender and manager explained how the move across the pond came at the perfect time.

“When I joined the process for the job, I thought about it and asked questions to people I know who coach and play in MLS,” Smith revealed.

“Fortunately, I’ve got a son who’s been playing out in the Carolinas for the last six years, so that obviously helped our decision. We’ve had vacations here over the last six years, so we know it fairly well.”

He added: “I really liked what I’d heard about the club, then when I visited the facilities I was impressed with them. I thought it was going to be the right challenge for me at this time.”