The 32-year-old Seattle Sounders right-back will face his old boss this weekend when the Houston Dynamo visit.
In December, the Dynamo replaced outgoing head coach Dominic Kinnear with former Burnley and Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle, who signed Mears for both clubs and used him in all 38 games during the former’s 2009-10 Premier League campaign.
Having made the move across the Atlantic himself this winter to serve as now-Tottenham Hotspur defender DeAndre Yedlin’s replacement in Seattle, Mears is relishing a reunion with his former boss and stressed to the club’s official website how much he loved working under him.
“Owen is a top bloke,” he said on Coyle. “He brings a lot of enthusiasm. He’s a coach that loves the game, loves playing it. He joins in training. That was my experience when I was with him at Burnley in the Premier League. He just loves to play and coach. He always wants to get the best out of the players.”
In his first job since leaving Wigan Athletic in December 2013, Coyle has had a mixed start in Houston so far, with the team taking five points from their first four games of the 2015 season, but Mears is confident that the Scottish-born boss will prove a success in the US.
“I was a little surprised that Owen did come. I thought he would have stayed in England a little bit longer, but I’m sure that like me, he feels that it’s a good time to be coming to MLS,” he continued.
“In the Premier League, on the tactical side of it, everything is really thought out. I think here you are given a lot more freedom. So I think that can only work to his advantage because he’s a manager that wants his teams to attack.”
Mears will also come up against a former teammate on the weekend in Giles Barnes, who he played alongside at Derby County between 2007 and 2009 and remains someone the Sounders defender is close with.
After injuries disrupted his career in England, the now-Houston forward has revitalised himself in MLS, growing into one of the league’s top attackers, and his old Rams colleague knows he could well do some serious damage when their two teams meet.
“He’s a very good friend of mine, and he’ll love Owen Coyle," Mears added on Barnes. "I’m sure he does now. He’s a manager that will love Giles because Giles is always about going forward, doing tricks and beating his man. He loves that.”