Dundee legend Barry Smith’s American adventure has come to a halt for now, due to the country’s strict Covid travel rules.
The 47-year-old was announced as the head coach of Pittsburgh City United FC in July.
The newly-formed side will partner with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise funds and awareness of the charity, with players wearing protective head gear in games.
It is official former Scottish Premiership Manager and Dundee FC Legend Barry Smith is our New Head Coach. #upsl #ussoccer #fifa #scottishfootball #pittsburghcityunitedfc #legend #alzheimersassociation pic.twitter.com/hfN8ZkJPT0
— Pittsburgh City United FC (@pittcityunited) July 19, 2021
However, current US restrictions do not allow British nationals, who have been in the UK in the last 14 days, entry to the country.
That means Smith, who made 368 appearances for the Dee, is unable to enter the States to join up with his new team.
‘A man of impeccable character’
A statement from club owner Michael Anton Monsour sought to clarify the situation and confirmed that Smith will still be involved with the club – albeit in a different role for now.
He said: “This foundation for our club is one that both myself and coach Smith hold in the highest regard. A foundation that will not be deterred by the economic impact of a potential shut down.
“As anyone who has ever known, played for, or worked with, would agree, coach Barry Smith is a man of impeccable character and genuine humility, two factors that make him the player, manager, and person he is today and the perfect person to lead this club moving forward.
“We can not control our current environment and the uncertainty as to when coach Smith will be able to join us, should not deter from the historic impact our club has already made and will continue to make this season and beyond.
Change of role
“Because of this, coach Barry Smith has agreed to join our ownership team to secure the organisational leadership necessary to continue our progression and to further advance our legitimacy even under these difficult times.”
Monsour also hinted Smith could join up with a Scottish club for the time being, until restrictions ease and a Visa can be granted.
He added: “It is important for our supporters and our players to know that coach Smith wants very much to be here and we very much want to have him here as soon as we are able, but it is also important for us that coach Smith is not held in limbo during a time where he could be utilising his incredible leadership skills at another club in Europe.”