Bay FC have hired their first franchise head coach in Albertin Montoya, the club announced on Wednesday. The franchise initially made headlines when they were awarded expansion in NWSL in June. Former U.S. women's national team players Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Aly Wagner and Danielle Slaton led the $53 million expansion bid alongside majority investor Sixth Street.
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Sixth Street, an investment firm, agreed to invest $125 million towards the club overall with the expansion fee included. They will be the fourteenth club in the league when the 2024 season kicks off next year. Montoya will be tasked with growing the coaching staff and the roster, while creating "a signature Bay FC playing style" for the upcoming season.
He also has deep ties to California where his family moved to the Bay Area from Cuba when he was six years old. He joins Bay FC after recently serving as interim head coach of Washington Spirit in 2022, but has exstensive experience as a former player with and coach.
He played at Santa Clara University and was a first-round draft pick in in 1998 for MLS side San Jose Clash, now known as the San Jose Earthquakes. He was the previous manager of FC Gold Pride in WPS, where he led the team to a championship season in 2010. He was later co-head coach of California Storm as part of the Women's Premier Soccer League from 1999 to 2006. He currently holds a USSF A License.
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"As the inaugural head coach of Bay FC, I'm honored to be a part of the foundation upon which our team's history will be built," said Montoya in a club statement.
"Together, we'll create a legacy of determination, unity, and excellence. Our journey begins today, and I'm eager to recruit and lead an elite group of athletes towards a future filled with triumphs, and together, we'll write the remarkable story of Bay FC."
The franchise will hope Montoya's local ties will serve the organization in forming a competitive team in the Bay Area. He is the founder of Montoya Soccer Academy, an elite youth soccer program based in Los Altos, California. He's also coached Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club.
Montoya will have to help the team navigate the NWSL Draft and NWSL Expansion Draft in the upcoming offseason. The 2024 season will see a thirteenth team, Utah Royals FC, enter the league alongside Bay FC in another double expansion year. The 2022 season welcomed both Los Angeles and San Diego as teams 11 and 12 into the league. Asset selection order has already been determined for Utah and the Bay ahead of the offseason.
Royals FC will have priority in the NWSL Draft and hold the No. 1 pick in the first and third rounds while Bay FC will select first in rounds two and four. Bay FC will have the first pick in the NWSL Expansion Draft where both clubs will have alternating picks over 12 rounds with each team selecting up to 12 players. The expansion draft is expected to take place in mid-December.