One of the most sought-after coaches in Major League Soccer wasn't out of work for very long.
Predrag Radosavljevic, commonly known as Preki, was officially unveiled as the new coach of Toronto FC on Thursday, becoming the fourth bench boss in four years for the MLS club.
Preki signed a three-year deal with Toronto a week after quitting as coach of Chivas USA.
"We are very excited to make this announcement today," said Toronto general manager Mo Johnston.
"Preki has everything we were looking for, and we feel he will be a perfect fit with our club. His resume with Chivas is impressive — having made it to the playoffs in every season he was there. His experience is what we need to take this club to the next level, and we can't wait to get started."
The 46-year-old native of Serbia replaces interim coach Chris Cummins, who left the team by mutual consent at the end of this past season. Cummins had been put in charge of the club in April after John Carver stepped down.
Preki's arrival in Toronto reunites him with Johnston, a former Kansas City Wizards and Everton teammate, who coached Toronto FC through its first season in 2007 before moving upstairs.
After Cummins' departure last month, Johnston stated that the next Toronto FC coach "has to have MLS experience."
Preki fits the bill.
A former MLS coach of the year (2007), he resigned from Chivas USA last week, his departure hastened by the team's loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the playoffs.
In three seasons in charge of Chivas, Preki sported a 40-29-21 record in the regular season, but 0-3-3 in the playoffs.
He had a distinguished playing career in MLS before retiring following the 2005 season. He was with the Wizards when they won the MLS Cup in 2000, and is the only MLS player to have been named the league's most valuable player twice, in 1997 and 2003.
The hope is that Preki, who guided Chivas to three consecutive playoff appearances, can help Toronto get over the hump and earn its first post-season berth.
He preaches a defence-first style of soccer, while Toronto has tried to employ a more attacking mode of play since entering the league.
He also has history with Amado Guevara, Toronto's star playmaker. Guevara played under Preki with Chivas in 2007, but the Honduran appeared in only a handful of games and was traded to Toronto in 2008 after Preki publicly questioned his desire.
Preki, who was born in Yugoslavia but became an American citizen and played for the U.S. national team at the 1998 World Cup, was rumoured to be a candidate for an assistant's job with the U.S. national team as well as head-coach positions with MLS clubs D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls.