Marc Dos Santos resigned as head coach of the struggling Montreal Impact on Tuesday and will be replaced on an interim basis by sporting director Nick De Santis.
The move came after a 1-0 loss to expansion club Edmonton on the weekend that dropped the team's record to two wins, seven losses and three ties.
The Impact are in their final season in the North American Soccer League before making the jump to Major League Soccer in 2012.
"I've accepted Marc's resignation because the team is having a difficult and unacceptable sequence," club president Joey Saputo said in a statement. "This is too important of a year to let it go like this.
"From the start of the season, I said it was important to finish our journey in second division on a positive note in order to start MLS on a high. Our goal today hasn't changed, we want to make the playoffs and get as far as possible."
He said De Santis will be in a better position as head coach to evaluate players and help the team turn around a disastrous season.
"I am confident that our coaches will straighten up the situation," Saputo added.
The resignation came on the day former Impact player Patrick Leduc blasted the club in a column in La Presse under the headline "Enough Is Enough."
Leduc said the team's off-season recruitment has not worked out and that there was a lack of leadership on the team, largely because no one has a contract that extends beyond the end of this season. He also called for changes in management so the players will know who is in charge going into MLS.
It now appears that will be De Santis.
Dos Santos became the Impact's eighth head coach on May 14, 2009, replacing John Limniatis. He led the team to a United Soccer Leagues title in his first season. Over three campaigns, his record was 26-25-16 in the regular season and 0-6-3 in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship.
De Santis coached the squad from 2004 to 2008, also winning a championship in his first year. He had a 69-29-30 record in the regular season.
Assistant coaches Mauro Biello, Gil Orriols-Jansana and Youssef Dahha will remain with the team.
De Santis will coach his first game Wednesday night at home against the Puerto Rico Islanders.