De Guzman steps back from coaching Fury FC, but keeps GM job

After spending part of last season as both Ottawa Fury FC's head coach and general manager, former Canadian soccer star Julian de Guzman will focus solely on the latter role.

Belgrade-born Nikola Popovic to assume USL club's coaching duties in 2018

Julian de Guzman speaks to reporters at TD Place Arena on Aug. 25, 2017. Ottawa Fury FC announced Thursday he had been appointed as the club's full-time general manager. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

After spending part of last season as Ottawa Fury FC's head coach, former Canadian soccer star Julian de Guzman will be taking a step back from the pitch this year.

The United Soccer League club appointed de Guzman as the team's full-time general manager Thursday, while announcing that Nikola Popovic would go into 2018 as head coach.

De Guzman had been serving in both roles in an interim capacity ever since Paul Dalglish resigned in August after less than two years with the club.

In a statement, de Guzman said he was looking forward to focusing solely on the general manager position and "building a club that we can all be proud to support."

Popovic coached the USL's Swope Park Rangers last season, leading the western conference club to a 17-8-7 record in only their second season in the league.

The Belgrade-born Popovic has coached in eight different countries, including Portugal, Serbia and Italy, Ottawa Fury FC said in a news release.

He also speaks four languages and has coached at the academy, club, and international levels, the team said.

Ottawa Fury FC named Nikola Popovic as the team's new head coach on Dec. 21, 2017. (