After arthroscopic surgery on both knees during the offseason, Tampa Bay's Caleb Porter retired to pursue a future in coaching at his alma mater, Indiana University.
"It was a tough decision but, I've been struggling with injuries and I feel it is time to pursue a career in coaching," said Porter, who ends a two-year MLS career. "This opportunity will help me get my foot in the door and was too good to pass up."
"This is a sad day," said Mutiny coach Tim Hankinson. " I brought Caleb here [to Tampa] knowing he would make an impact on the team. Unfortunately, injury prevented us from utilizing his full potential as a player. It's sad to see such a young player, just beginning his career, have to leave at this point, but I understand his situation. I went through a similar situation, having many surgeries so early in my career. I see some bright days for Caleb in coaching."
The 5-9, 175-pound Porter did not play during his time with the Mutiny due to an injury suffered while with San Jose in 1999. He played in four matches (starting one) while recording 72 minutes in his MLS career. Prior to his professional career, Porter was a standout for Indiana from 1994-97. The defensive midfielder helped lead the Hoosiers to 23-1 mark with a Big Ten championship and a final four berth in 1997. He was a three-time All-Big Ten selection; first team as a senior and was named team captain for three seasons.
Porter will head to Bloomington, Ind., to begin his coaching career as the second assistant to five-time national Coach of the Year Jerry Yeagley. With a 478-83-37 (.823) under Yeagley, Indiana has won five NCAA championships, including two consecutive (1998-99).
"I am really excited about working under Coach Yeagley," said Porter. "He is one of the best in the business and I plan on learning a lot from him. This move is a bittersweet one for me. I love Tampa and will miss being a part of the Mutiny family. However, with my knee injuries and the opportunity to give back to my alma mater, I feel this move is best for everyone."
'El Pibe' on top
Mutiny midfield magician Carlos Valderrama, having his best MLS season with 18 assists in 18 matches -- one shy of the single-season record of 19 he shares with Marco Etcheverry -- continues to lead all MLS players in All-Star balloting with 25,620 votes. Los Angeles midfielder Mauricio Cienfuegos is second to "El Pibe" with 24,377. The 2000 MLS All-Star Game will be played July 29 in Columbus at Crew Stadium. Valderrama led after last week's initial vote count.
Surprisingly, Mutiny forward Mamadou Diallo, who leads MLS in goals with 16 and points with 32, is only sixth among Eastern forwards with 5,601; the MetroStars Adolfo Valencia is the leader with 15,840. Valencia has nine goals and six assists on the year.
Tico Tico expected on July 4
New Mutiny forward Manuel "Tico Tico" Bucuane (Bahk-whan-yay) is due in Tampa on Tuesday, July 4 at 12 p.m. EST. He may be available for the Mutiny's match with D.C. United that evening.
He was scheduled to arrive in Tampa on Friday, June 30, but was called up to the Mozambique national team for a World Cup qualifying match vs. Lesotho on Sunday, July 1.
The Mutiny picked up the 5-7, 160-pound Bucuane as a discovery player on June 7, 2000.
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