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Why Bay FC’s global search led to a familiar name for its first coach

Albertin Montoya, who has spent nearly his whole life in the Bay Area as a player and coach, will lead the 2024 NWSL expansion side. His tactical style and ability to build team culture made for a match, he and GM Lucy Rushton said.

Albertin Montoya, right, will lead Bay FC in 2024. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

When Albertin Montoya took over as interim coach of the Washington Spirit last year, both parties were clear: the relationship was only temporary. As highly regarded as Montoya is as a coach, he and his family have been based in the San Francisco Bay Area for decades. That was home. Plus, he was the longstanding technical director of a storied youth club there.

Coaching the Spirit, however, reminded Montoya of what he loved about the professional game that he had been part of in two previous leagues and two prior decades.

“I got the bug,” Montoya told The Equalizer this week. Now, he can put that feeling to good use.

On Wednesday, Montoya was named the first head coach of Bay FC, the San Jose, California-based National Women’s Soccer League expansion team slated to begin play in 2024. Montoya emerged from a long list of roughly 40 names “from every continent, from every type of background,” Bay FC general manager Lucy Rushton said, and a group of three finalists. In the end, the coach with deep, local ties was deemed the best fit by Rushton & Co for his tactical views and his ability to build culture and character within a team.

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