Crew coach adds learning Spanish to preseason to-do list

PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida (WCMH) — With preseason training camp continuing for the defending MLS Cup champions, Crew coach Wilfried Nancy had a realization entering the second week.

“I figured out that I have to speak Spanish. I have to be good at it,” Nancy said.

The former FC Montreal manager enters his second season at the helm in Columbus and while he said he was joking about learning a new language, turns out he actually wasn’t.

“I’m gonna do it because I like to have a discussion with a player in his language,” Nancy said.

The club roster has several players with Hispanic heritage, including forwards Cucho Hernandez and Christian Ramirez as well as recent Crew 2 signee Nicolas Rincon.

Nancy, who was born in France and played there professionally for ten years, says he knows the importance of being able to communicate with his players in their language.

“When I took the team last year, and this is the way I see things, I need to create a safe environment,” Nancy said. “And for me, a safe environment is for me and my staff to learn Spanish because we have more players like this and so this is really important for me that the player feels good and can express himself in a good way.”

Nancy doesn’t have much time to pick up a new language with the MLS season starting on February 24 at home against Atlanta.

Said Nancy: “I’m able to understand Spanish but I need to get better to talk.”

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