Laurent Courtois' CF Montreal move is latest step in growing career

Crew 3

CF Montreal’s search for a new head coach has come to an end with one of MLS NEXT Pro’s well-known faces set for the latest jump in his career.

Columbus Crew 2 head coach Laurent Courtois has become manager of CF Montreal, which is the latest promotion for the Frenchman in his career. Courtois has spent the majority of his coaching career in the United States, joining the Crew as U-17 academy head coach in 2019 after previous stints with LA Galaxy II (2014) and Lyon’s academy (2015-18).

After being promoted to the U-19 team in 2021, Courtois then earned his biggest opportunity yet, serving as Crew 2 head coach over the past two seasons. Crew 2 have been successful in each of their first two MLS NEXT Pro campaigns, winning MLS NEXT Pro Cup in 2022 before returning to the league final in 2023.

Not only was Crew 2 dominant on the field, but Courtois provided growing opportunities to young players. Jacen Russell-Rowe, Mo Farsi, and Patrick Schulte were just three of several former Crew 2 players to provide a key impact in MLS last season. 

Schulte and Farsi were both starters for the Eastern Conference side on its way to lifting MLS Cup while Russell-Rowe appeared off the bench throughout multiple competitions. Philip Quinton, Sean Zawadzki, and others also came through the Crew 2 ranks and a new group of players will certainly be knocking on the door in 2024.

Courtois takes over a CF Montreal side that took a major step back in 2023. Hernan Losada took over for the now Columbus Crew Head Coach Wilfried Nancy, but struggled for consistency as CF Montreal finished 10th in the East and failed to make the playoffs. 

They also fell in the Canadian Championship Final to the Vancouver Whitecaps and finished last in their Leagues Cup group to Pumas UNAM and DC United. 

Courtois will hope for a smooth transition into his new role, and after back-to-back successive years in MLS NEXT Pro, CF Montreal fans should be excited for what’s to come this year.