From Celtic Park to the MLS Cup: The journey of Neil McGuinness

Credit: Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew 3-0 Seattle Sounders.

A phenomenal achievement for the club as a whole and their Scottish director of scouting Neil McGuinness.

Credit: Major League Soccer & Columbus Crew

Being a passionate Scot, I love seeing fellow countrymen and women succeeding on the global stage and moving away from their natural comfort zone. For me Neil epitomises that very statement.

Neil McGuinness is in his second season as the Director of Scouting for Columbus Crew SC, having joined the Club on April 17, 2019.

McGuinness joined Crew SC after working in the Qatar Football Association from 2015-2018. During his time there, McGuiness worked as a Senior Player Recruiter and was responsible for the identification and recruitment of players to represent the Qatar National Team. While working for the Qatar Football Association, McGuinness also worked as a scout for Qatar’s Aspire Academy and served as a consultant to teams in the English, French, German, Mexican, Saudi and Spanish topflights.

Credit: Brian Hargadon

Prior to his time with the Qatar Association, McGuinness worked as the First Team Senior Scout for Celtic Football Club and was responsible for the signings of both Virgil Van Dijk and Stefan Johansen.

Credit: Nick Bristol / Flickr

During his time with Celtic, McGuiness’ duties included being responsible for first team player scouting and recruitment internationally, while also covering all opposition analysis during European competition, including the UEFA Champions League.

Now, his short spell in the US has seen the Crew win the two biggest prizes available to them in the Eastern conference and the coveted MLS Cup.

Credit: Major League Soccer / Columbus Crew

In an interview with Michael Gannon leading up to the final, McGuinness spoke of how much he is enjoying life in the US and how much these achievements mean to him and the club. McGuinness said: “It’s been a great year for the club in terms of performance so far and in a year that’s been so difficult for everyone off the pitch.

I have been lucky enough to experience a lot of big days and nights in my career so far and been part of trophy winning teams. You never get tired of wanting that feeling and the team winning the Eastern Conference was another experience I won’t forget quickly.”

The MLS cup can now be added to the list of impressive experiences. Not bad for a boy from Glasgow.

Published by Callum McFadden

Football CFB founder. Freelance football writer & broadcaster - Enquiries: footballcfb@gmail.com

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