Columbus Crew News: Director of Scouting and Player Recruitment Neil McGuinness named LAFC’s Technical Director

By Mariana Smithfield

Neil McGuinness

COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew Director of Scouting and Player Recruitment Neil McGuinness has been named LAFC’s Technical Director. McGuinness joined the Club in 2019 and was part of the leadership group that propelled the Black & Gold to the 2020 and 2023 MLS Cup championships and the 2021 Campeones Cup, as well as the Club’s first appearance in the Concacaf Champions Cup Final to be played June 1.

 

“Neil is a tremendous person and a talented executive who possesses a keen knowledge of our sport and what it takes to succeed at the highest level,” said President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “For more than five years Neil has been instrumental in developing and managing our Club’s process for identifying players who possess specific characteristics to match our team’s needs and ultimately acquiring those talents. We are incredibly grateful for Neil’s efforts to help us win multiple MLS Cups in the past four years, and we wish him well in his new role with LAFC.”

Neil McGuinness (courtesy Columbus Crew Communications)

During McGuinness’ time in Columbus, the Crew signed Argentine midfielder Lucas Zelarayán to a Club-record transfer fee in 2019 and broke that record with the successful signing of Cucho Hernández from English Premier League side Watford in 2022. He was instrumental in the Black & Gold’s identification and acquisition of numerous players who significantly contributed to the Club’s overall success, including active players Yevhen Cheberko, Marino Hinestroza, Alex Matan, Steven Moreira, Diego Rossi and Yaw Yeboah.

 

McGuinness was a Senior Player Recruiter with the Qatar Football Association (QFA) from 2015-18, when he was responsible for the scouting and recruitment of players for the Qatar National Team. With the QFA, he also served as a scout for Qatar’s Aspire Academy and as a consultant to clubs in the English, French, German, Mexican, Saudi and Spanish top flights.

 

Prior to his time with the Qatar Association, McGuinness worked as the First Team Senior Scout for Celtic Football Club of Scotland’s First Division. His duties included first team player scouting and recruitment internationally while also covering all opposition analysis during European competition, including the UEFA Champions League.

ABOUT COLUMBUS CREW

Columbus Crew is the first club in Major League Soccer. The Crew is operated by Haslam Sports Group and the Edwards Family. The Club has won three MLS Cup championships in 2008, 2020 and 2023, one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2002, MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009, and the Campeones Cup in 2021. The 2024 campaign is the Crew’s 29th season in MLS as well as the Club’s third full season at Lower.com Field.

Website: ColumbusCrew.com | Twitter: @ColumbusCrew | Instagram: @ColumbusCrew | Hashtag: #Crew96 | Facebook.com/columbuscrew | App: ColumbusCrew.com/app | Stadium: Lower.com Field | Training Facility: OhioHealth Performance Center

 

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