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Nacho Novo named Interim Head Coach of USL League One's Lexington SC

Rangers legend Nacho Novo has been named interim head coach of USL League One’s Lexington Sporting Club.

The 44-year-old began his senior playing career in his home country of Spain in 1997, where he played for various clubs before securing a move to Scottish Championship side Raith Rovers in 2001. Novo’s impressive goal-scoring record at Raith Rovers drew the attention of Dundee, who signed him in 2002.

After a two-year stint at Dundee, which saw him net four goals in the UEFA Cup, Novo landed a contract with Glasgow giants Rangers. The signing — made by then-manager Alex McLeish — marked the beginning of an impressive six-year spell that would later launch Novo into the Rangers Hall of Fame.

In 2005’s “Helicopter Sunday” race for the Scottish Premiership League title, Novo scored the only goal against Hibernian in a nerve-wracking match that saw Rangers seal victory over rivals Celtic by one point.

After coming on as a late substitute, his successful penalty in a semi-final shoot-out against Serie A’s Fiorentina put Rangers through to the 2008 UEFA Cup Final.

Rangers clinched two more SPL titles during Novo’s time at the club, as well as five cup titles. In the 2009 Scottish Cup Final, he scored the winning goal against Falkirk just 28 seconds after he was brought on as a substitute.

In 2010, Novo left Rangers and returned to Spain to join Sporting de Gijón, where he remained for two seasons.

From 2012 to 2014, he played with a variety of clubs across Europe, including Polish outfit Legia Warsaw and Spanish club Huesca. Novo made the leap across the pond to Carolina Railhawks (now North Carolina FC) in 2014 before taking up his final playing contract with Northern Irish side Glentoran in 2016.

Novo’s coaching journey took him back to the US in 2022 when he was named assistant coach of Lexington SC. In that role, the former forward also served as head coach of the Kentucky side’s U23 squad.

Now, Novo’s appointment as interim head coach puts him at the helm of a team with a promising future in America’s USL League One. He will work closely with fellow Football Careers client Sam Stockley, who holds the role of Men’s Sporting Director at the club.

Lexington SC Majority Owner Bill Shively commented:

“Nacho has a tremendous track record on the pitch as a player and we have seen him grow as a coach in his short time with us. As our entire club continues to grow, we hope to finish our inaugural season on a high note.”

Lexington’s next USL League One match will see them face Tennessee’s Chattanooga Red Wolves at home on Saturday 23rd September.

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