Toronto FC II announced today that it has named Gianni Cimini as its Head Coach ahead of its first MLS NEXT Pro season.
“We’re excited for Gianni to take over as the Head Coach of Toronto FC II for the inaugural season of MLS NEXT Pro,” said Toronto FC Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley. “He has been a top coach in the TFC Academy for 10 years and will play an important role in moving our top young players forward to the first team.”
Cimini, 38, has spent the past 10 years working with the Toronto FC Academy as the Head Coach for the U-12, U-16 and U-17 age groups, in addition to serving as the Academy Technical Manager from 2015 to 2017. In March 2020, Cimini was listed as an honourable mention on Major League Soccer’s list of “Academy coaches ready to make the jump to the first team.” Cimini holds a U.S. Soccer Federation ‘A’ Coaching Licence in addition to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Diploma.
“It’s a great honour to play a critical role in the continued development of these young professional athletes in the city I grew up in and for the club that I love,” said Toronto FC II Head Coach Gianni Cimini. “MLS NEXT Pro will provide a new professional platform for talent to emerge and I look forward to using my experience in development to foster this growth and support our first team.”
Prior to his coaching career with the TFC Academy, Cimini worked as the Technical Director at Woodbridge Soccer Club from 2006 to 2012 and as a Regional Assistant Coach at the Ontario Soccer Association in 2011. As a player, Cimini attended Old Dominion University and Philadelphia University where he earned Atlantic Soccer Conference (ASC) First Team All-Conference awards in 2004 and 2005. At the youth level, Cimini also represented the Canadian National team at the U-17 and U-18 level. He completed his Bachelor of Business Administration at Philadelphia University before earning his Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto.
Marco Casalinuovo, 36, also joins Toronto FC II as an assistant coach after spending seven years coaching within the Toronto FC Academy. Most recently, Casalinuovo served as the Academy’s U-17/U-16 Assistant Coach and Individual Development Plan (IDP) Coach. He holds a “B” License from the U.S. Soccer Federation and a NSCAA National Diploma. As a player, Casalinuovo was a member of the A.S. Roma and Atalanta B.C. Youth Academy teams in Italy and represented the Canadian Men’s National Team at the U-15, U-16 and U-17 levels.
Toronto FC II, one of 21 clubs participating in MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season, kick-off their campaign against FC Cincinnati 2 on April 3, 2022. Further announcements on the club’s complete roster and new signings will be made in the lead up to the 2022 campaign.