Who is Maxime Chanot? Glad you asked. Hey, what’s up, it’s Hoff. Each week I’m going to bring you a breakdown of someone from the MLS. This segment is called “Who’s this dude?” and it’s going to get REAL.

Maxime Chanot – NYCFC Defender

Luxembourg, the country from which Maxime’s international career hails, is approximately the size of Rhode Island. In other words, he’s probably freaking out right now. Can you fathom anything worse than enjoying the lush countryside of that pleasant pasture and trading that for a man barfing on a pigeon as you wait in line for a cab at La Guardia airport? This is how I imagine Maxime’s transition to NYCFC went. So where did this guy actually come from (because it’s actually not Luxembourg)? Where did he play and was he any good? How will he fit in at NYCFC? I’ll fill you in faster than you can say “barf on a pigeon.”

Full Name: Maxime Chanot, 26. Another case of no middle name disease. Not much to say here, though the name Maxime has a very regal flair to it. No chance this guy orders a hot dog from a street-cart vendor. He buys the street, erects a hotdog-only Shake Shack, eats at it once, shuts it down, and then sells the street for a profit.

Country of Origin: FRANCE. Bet you didn’t see that coming. The media keeps talking about this Luxembourgian, but really he was born in Nancy, France and only plays internationally for Luxembourg. Nancy is in the Alsace Lorraine region of the country in the north east, bordering Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg. My family is from there too, so Maxime’s probably now my favorite player. Get over it.  He’s had a bit of a tough life, his father passing away at 5, and him living in an apartment with “piss on the walls” not that long ago while playing in the Belgium second league. (translated from French). Want to know why he can play for Luxembourg internationally? Me too, because seemingly anyone can choose to play there. I’ll update this when I find where his connection lies with Lux.

Defining Feature: Devastating hair-part. Chiseled pectorals. These are the obvious ones, but I’m waiting for that one magical feature to present itself, like a dove in P.Diddy’s topcoat.

Playing Career: Maxime’s been all over the place in his young career. He played in a few local professional teams (AS Nancy and Stade de Reims) before moving to Premier League squad Sheffield United in 2007 at the age of 16. He was there through 2009, being loaned out twice in that time, only making a few appearances for the academy teams. He then signed for another premier club, this time in France for Le Mans, but was immediately loaned out to French second league side FC Gueugnon. After a pretty serious stint with Belgian second league side R.W.S. Bruxelles where he made 44 appearances, he was called up to the bigs with Beerschot AC, though that team literally dissolved that year. In a not shocking coincidence, Frederic Brillant was also on that team. I feel bad a bit, the way I’ve been ragging on Frederic Brillant, but for the love of waffles can he stop causing goals. The guy’s gotta be the man in the locker room. Everyone must love him, because why else would he be out there week after week causing own goals, easy goals for the other team, and penalty kicks? Sorry, tangent.

After the Beer-team dissolved, Maxime found himself at Belgium club KVK, an actual Belgium first league contender, finishing fifth last year. He put in a lot of shifts there with 82 appearances and earned himself some looks from some other European teams like Queens Park Rangers and Chievo Verona.

I want you to sit down now. Because the next set of highlight clips, which have a combined view count of less than 1,000, HAVE AN EPIC SOUNDTRACK. Like the kind of stuff Michael Bay listens to while writing Bad Boys Sequels. The kind of stuff Danny listens to while crafting crostinis. Behold, over 20 minutes of well times slide tackles.



Keys to his time in NYCFC: NYCFC and Maxime seemed to be a match made in La Guardia when NYCFC sent $50k in general allocation money to Orlando for the rights to pick up the young center back. here’s what to expect from Maxime in Blue.

  • Patrick Vieira expects him to create competition on the back line, which is something you hear all the time from great clubs abroad. You think you’re good with your spot on the team? Too bad, here comes a guy about to replace you. Work harder.
  • I’m assuming you sat down and watched in full, music blasting, those three highlight reels above. If you did, which I know you did, you know what a physical and commanding presence this dude is. He’s 6’1″ but he’s strong and can position his body well on 1 v 1 situations. He’s fairly good in the air and is good for a couple of goals a year off set pieces.
  • One thing I believe he’s very strong in, especially if you watch the 2015 reel, is passing the ball out of the back. This is one thing NYCFC severely lacks in, and if sometimes you feel we pass the ball back and forth in the back line without any purpose and back and forth to the goalie, you’re not the only one. His ability to break a ball through the midfield up to our attacking midfielders is exactly the type of play we need to set loose Jack Harrison, Villa, and Tommy McNamagic. This eases pressure off the defense when opposing teams are trying to take the ball from our defense and midfielders, and it will prevent things like this…

 

Claim to Fame: Maxime actually has a pretty sick claim to fame. In 2014, Italy, the world soccer superpower was just coming off a draw with Ireland and needed a quick match with Luxembourg to get nice and lubed up for the World Cup…welp…not so much. Italy went up 1-0 early and held the lead until the final 5 minutes when our very own Maxime Chanot headed home a corner past Buffon to tie it up. One of the biggest games in Lux history. Even though it was a ‘friendly.’

I’ll leave you with this clip of the goal, as well as a quote from Maxime from July 2015, when he scored a double to beat a rival club in Belgium. In the quote, I believe he was asked to talk about how we he was able to score two goals, but really the only reason I’m quoting this is because of what the journalists’ quote translates to from French: “To be honest, we had worked this phase of the game,” smiled our king headbutt.

There you have it, Maxime’s nickname: King Headbutt